Following an appeal by PETA India, the Government of Tripura issued a notification to officials throughout the state mandating compliance with Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) advisories prohibiting the use of glue traps for catching rodents. Invoking Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the notification warns against cruelty to animals and urges concerned authorities to enforce the prohibition.
In its appeal, PETA India requested that the state take immediate steps to implement the AWBI’s prohibition of cruel and illegal glue traps. Tripura is the latest of 23 states and union territories to issue directions against these sticky traps. Similar circulars taking action on glue traps have been issued by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, 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 often ensnare non-target animals, including birds, squirrels, reptiles, and frogs. This makes their use 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, and some even chew through their legs in a desperate attempt to escape 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 don’t work in the long run because they don’t 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.