Following an appeal from PETA India, the director of animal husbandry, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, has issued a circular instructing all the deputy directors, district animal husbandry officers, and veterinary officers of the Animal Husbandry Unit to ensure the prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and use of glue traps is upheld. The circular asks that advisories circulated by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) against these sticky boards be implemented and that penal action be taken under Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, against individuals or establishments found in violation of the order. Citing the indiscriminate nature of glue traps, the circular also underlines the suffering endured by the animals, including non-target species like birds, squirrels, reptiles, and frogs, who become caught in them.
In its appeal, PETA India requested that the union territory take immediate steps to implement the AWBI’s directions against cruel and illegal glue traps. Similar circulars taking action on glue traps have been issued by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
Usually made of plastic trays or sheets of cardboard covered with strong glue, these traps are indiscriminate killers that frequently ensnare non-target animals. 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 even more traumatic death, such as bludgeoning or drowning.
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.