Following an appeal from PETA India, the Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Production Department issued a circular urging compliance with Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) advisories prohibiting glue traps and called for action to be taken to uphold a ban on the manufacture, sale, and use of glue traps within the union territory, as their use is a violation of Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Per the circular, despite multiple directives issued by the AWBI to curtail the use of glue traps, a prohibition of their sale and use has not been enforced effectively.
In its appeal, PETA India requested that the union territory take immediate steps to implement the AWBI’s directions. Similar circulars taking action on glue traps have been issued by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, 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 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 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 do not work in the long run, because they do not address the source of the issue. More rodents simply move in, and a temporary spike in the food supply prompts breeding. The result is a vicious killing cycle in which many animals suffer and die.
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.