Thank you to those who have contacted me about the use of glue traps and the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill.
I believe in a vision where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and degradation, and where we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.
I have long supported banning the use of glue traps as they are clearly cruel and inhumane. I was shocked to hear that the RSPCA had received 236 call outs to animals caught in these traps in just four years.
As you know, animals caught in these traps can suffer long, drawn-out deaths owing to horrific injuries from trying to escape, or because of hunger, stress, dehydration, exhaustion or suffocation. This is not humanity in any form, and they are horrible ways to die. These traps are also indiscriminate, affecting not only rodents but all small vertebrates.
Therefore, although I welcome the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill and believe it is a big step in the right direction, I also have some reservations about its scope. I am concerned the language is too exclusive, referring only to the setting of glue traps for rodents, and I hope this can be rectified in the next stages of its parliamentary scrutiny.
The Bill also outlines a licensing regime for the use of glue traps by professionals in exceptional circumstances. I know there are some concerns about to whom licences may be issued and what kind of training people would need, and I believe these concerns are well-founded. In my view, an outright ban appears more feasible than a licensing regime.
The Bill passed its Second Reading without a vote and will continue its parliamentary journey.
More widely, I also support a ban on the use of snares in England. The Government recently voted against an Opposition amendment to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill at Committee Stage which would have banned snares where kept animals could be entrapped. The Government stated it hoped to publish a call for evidence on the use of snares shortly. I hope it will bring their thinking more into line with their approach to glue traps.