Following an appeal from PETA India, the Arunachal Pradesh Department of Animal Husbandry, Veterinary and Dairy Development has issued a notification, echoing advisories circulated by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), issuing a state-wide prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and use of glue traps to catch rodents. Affirming that the use of glue traps for this purpose violates The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, the notification illustrates the suffering of small animals who get trapped on the sticky boards.
In its appeal, PETA India requested that the state take immediate steps to implement the AWBI’s directions against glue traps. Similar circulars taking action on glue traps have been issued by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
The use of glue traps is a punishable offence under Section 11 of the PCA Act, 1960. Usually made of plastic trays or sheets of cardboard covered with strong glue, glue traps are indiscriminate killers, often catching non-target animals, including birds, squirrels, reptiles, and frogs. This makes their use also a violation of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which prohibits the “hunting” of protected indigenous species. Mice, rats, and other animals caught in these traps can die of hunger, dehydration, or exposure after days of prolonged suffering. Others may suffocate when their noses and mouths become stuck in the glue, while some even chew through their legs in a desperate bid for freedom and die from blood loss. Those found alive may be thrown away along with the trap or face an even more traumatic death, such as bludgeoning or drowning.
Glue traps are ineffective in the long term since they don’t deal with the root of the problem. Simply put, more rats and mice move in, as their breeding is prompted by a brief increase in the food supply. The result is a vicious killing cycle in which many animals suffer and die.
PETA India notes that the best way to control rodent populations is to make the area unattractive or inaccessible to them: eliminate food sources by keeping surfaces and floors clean and storing food in chew-proof containers, sealing trash cans, and using ammonia-soaked cotton balls or rags to drive rodents away (they hate the smell). After giving them a few days to leave, seal entry points using foam sealant, steel wool, hardware cloth, or metal flashing. Rodents can also be removed using humane cage traps but must be released where they will find adequate food, water, and shelter to help them survive.