Scottish glue board ban will affect most vulnerable, says BPCA

by | Nov 15, 2022 | General, Rodents


Proposals in Scotland relating to a ban on the use of rodent glue traps, and increased regulation of other wildlife traps, have been published.

A consultation on the proposals is open now and will close on 14 December 2022. 

British Pest Control Association will engage with stakeholders and respond to the consultation on behalf of members.


You can find details on the consultation and the response can be found here:

Pest professionals working in Scotland are encouraged to fill in the consultation and return it before the 14 December deadline.

About the Bill

The new Wildlife Management (Grouse Moor) Bill is largely centered around making sure that grouse moors are managed in a more sustainable way.

However, critically for pest controllers, it will also include a provision to ban the use of glue traps and further regulation on other types of trap.

These recommendations come from the Werritty report, carried out by an independent group commissioned by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, and the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC).

Glue Traps

The use of glue to trap birds is already an offence under the The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

There is currently no legislation governing the use of glue traps to catch rodents in Scotland.

In its March 2021 report, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC) made its recommendations on the future of glue boards to ministers.

At the time of publication, BPCA expressed our concerns that the report didn’t fully consider public health implications surrounding a potential ban.

Unfortunately, the Scottish Government has accepted the SAWC’s recommendations and are proposing introducing a comprehensive ban on the use of glue traps by both members of the public and professional pest controllers.

Without an alternative to glue boards, it’s possible we’ll see planes stuck on runways, school lunchrooms closed and hospital wards shut while waiting for a single mouse to be caught.

Ian Andrew, Chief Exec, British Pest Control Association

They are proposing introducing a ban on the sale of rodent glue traps in Scotland, provided that this can be achieved under the terms of the Internal Market Act, which was brought in by the UK Government in 2020.

The Scottish Government are not currently looking at the introduction of a licensing regime for professional pest controllers, like the one BPCA successfully lobbied for in England.

The proposal is that there will be a 2 year transition period between the legislation being passed and the ban on the use (and sale) of glue traps coming into force. This is to allow a reasonable period for businesses who use and sell glue traps to develop, trial and source alternative methods of rodent control.

Ian Andrew, Chief Executive at BPCA, said: “When used by pest management professionals, glue boards are the fastest and most efficient way to tackle an established rodent infestation.

“Without an alternative to glue boards, it’s possible we’ll see planes stuck on runways, school lunchrooms closed and hospital wards shut while waiting for a single mouse to be caught.”

BPCA supports the ban of retail sales and amateur-use of glue boards proposed in the Wildlife Management (Grouse) Bill, but is calling on Members of the Scottish Parliament to bring in a licensing scheme that would allow pest professionals to continue using them.

Ian added: “A typical consumer should never be able to purchase glue boards. They do not have the training to deploy glue boards safely without accidentally capturing non-target animals.

“But a total ban on glue boards would remove a tool that helps protect some of the most vulnerable people and high-risk environments.”

Other traps

The use of traps is governed by several pieces of legislation in Scotland including:

The Werritty report recommended that:

“New legislation should be introduced to make it a legal requirement that it becomes an offence to set or operate a trap without an operator having successfully completed a course run by an approved and accredited body and dealing with the relevant category of trap (cage and/or spring).

“A trap operator who has successfully completed a relevant trap training course should apply to their local police station for a unique identification number which must be attached to all traps that are set.

“That any operator dealing with the relevant category of trap (cage and/or spring) should undergo refresher training at least once every ten years.”

This will apply to the following:

  • Live capture bird traps
  • Live capture mammal traps (except for traps that are used or intended to be used to capture mammals in indoor settings)
  • Traps regulated by the Spring Traps Approval Order (STAO).


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