Following an appeal from PETA India, the State Animal Welfare Board of Odisha circulated an order instructing all chief district veterinary officers-cum-member secretaries of the district societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals to ensure compliance with Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) advisories banning glue traps to catch rodents and to ensure the strict prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and use of glue traps in Odisha. The circular cites Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which prohibits causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.
In its appeal, PETA India requested that the state take immediate steps to implement the AWBI’s directions against glue traps. Odisha is the latest of 21 states and union territories to issue directives against these cruel and illegal sticky traps. Similar circulars taking action against glue traps have been issued by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, 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 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. Others starve to death after being stuck to the board for days. Those found alive may be thrown away along with the trap or face an even more traumatic death, such as bludgeoning or drowning.
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.