Glue boards are used as a last resort tool by pest control specialists when all other routine controls have failed. They are seen to be an effective means of pest control but are inhumane if not properly supervised and should only be used in certain situations.

Governments in England, Scotland and Wales are at different stages of implementing restrictions on the use of glue traps as rodent control, they were made illegal in Wales under the Agriculture (Wales) Act 2023. In Scotland, they may be banned under the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, which has been out for consultation.

Recently in England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released an overview of new licensing laws for rodent glue traps in accordance with the Glue Traps (Offences) Act 2022, which allows pest professionals to continue to use rodent glue boards under licence.

Pest controllers will be able to apply for the licence from 13 June 2024, and the glue trap ban will come into force on 31 July 2024. Licences will only be issued for exceptional circumstances and where all alternative methods are ineffective or impractical. However, restaurants, takeaways and dwelling houses are not considered as exceptional circumstances.

Food Alert supports the need to control and license the use of glue boards to ensure they are used safely and only by pest control professionals; however, we believe that hospitality venues should be included as an exceptional circumstance, to allow these businesses access to the use of glue boards via their pest control contractor, in rare circumstances where all other means of pest control have been ineffective and where there is an imminent risk to health. Hospitality venues cater for large numbers of people including vulnerable groups, where rodent infestations can present an imminent risk to health which must be effectively controlled and mitigated. Food Alert are working closely with relevant stakeholders to suggest that a risk-based approach to the definition of exceptional circumstances be considered within the licensing principles.

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