Feature articles

08 November 2021

Glue boards in England will be licenced rather than banned completely


If the proposed Glue Traps (Offences) Bill becomes law, their use will be licenced rather than completely banned.

UPDATE: The Bill (as introduced) has now been published and is available to read on the Parliamentary Bills website here.

Glueboards to be licenced not banned

This will mean professional pest management companies will be able to continue to use rodent glue boards in specific licensable situations. 

The Glue Trap (Offences) Bill is due its second reading in parliament this month

BPCA has now seen the draft Bill and has confirmed with Defra that it includes a provision for their continued use via licences. 

Initially, Defra had indicated to BPCA that there was no appetite for licensing rodent glue traps. 

However, BPCA advocated strongly for a licensing regime that would effectively stop amateurs from using these products while keeping the tool to protect public health - a stance supported by members.


BPCA Chief Exec, Ian Andrew said:

“Overall, this is what we hoped for. 

“All the members we spoke to agreed that stopping amateur use of rodent glue boards can only be a good thing. 

By keeping the dialogue open with Defra and communicating our concerns to other stakeholders, it looks as if we’ve been able to secure a small change that will have a significant impact on public health.

“Thank you to all the BPCA members that contributed their time to helping us fight this Bill”.


Details of the licensing regime are not contained within the Bill, and Defra has indicated this will be formalised in the two-year lead-in period after the Bill passes. 

BPCA Head of Technical, Dee Ward-Thompson said:

“The battle is not over yet.

The licensing of glue boards will need to be workable so we can all continue to protect public health effectively.

“The reason we require the use of glue boards is for the rapid control of infestations on sensitive sites, like hospital wards and care homes.

“If licences need to be issued on a case-by-case basis, then this could render glue boards useless too.

“Defra has indicated that they’ll be engaging with stakeholders (including us) to make sure the licences are workable.

“We’ll keep you updated with how these talks go”.


While it’s no guarantee that the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill will make it through it’s second reading or committee stage, the UK government has formally backed the private member’s Bill, suggesting it is unlikely to fail. 

Glue traps offences bill progress so far


Wales and Scotland have already indicated that they too would like to see glue boards banned.

BPCA hopes that if this Bill sparks a viable licensing regime in England, the other nations will adopt a similar (or ideally aligned) approach. 


Ian Andrew continued:

“We’ve always shared the concerns of animal welfare groups on the subject of glue boards.

“They’re right; in the wrong hands, these can be nasty tools with potentially disastrous consequences for non-target and target species.

“A licensing scheme that takes glue boards out of the hands of untrained amateurs but retains them for professionals to use in critical public health situations is best for everyone”.


Every single user of glue boards should be aware of how to use them responsibly.

Take a look at the following resources available to all pest professionals:


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