The sale and use of glue traps that are described as “one of the cruellest methods of rodent control” should be banned, Scotland’s environment minister has said.
It follows a call from the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission in March of last year to completely outlaw the use of the traps.
Raising the issue during general questions at Holyrood, SNP MSP Siobhian Brown asked whether the Scottish Government would accept the commission’s recommendation and said: “Glue tabs are one of the cruellest methods of rodent control.”
Ms McAllan replied: “We are committed to maintaining the very highest welfare standards in Scotland for animals, including wildlife.
“We have carefully considered the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission’s findings alongside all other relevant evidence and I’m pleased to announce in Parliament today that we intend to end the cruel practice of setting glue traps.
“The commission’s report is clear that there are significant animal welfare issues related to the use of glue traps, not only for rodents but also for other non-target species such as wild birds.
“Therefore, we will bring forward legislation to ban glue traps in this parliamentary term.”
However, the SNP minister claimed there could be unspecified problems banning the traps in Scotland because of the UK Government’s Internal Market Bill, despite the Government at Westminster pushing a ban through the Commons.
Asked whether any ban will also include their sale, Ms McAllan added: “Our intention is to ban both the sale and use of glue traps.
“However, there are implications arising from the Internal Market Act which can undermine decisions made by this Parliament as we know, including in wholly devolved climate and environmental policy areas.
“We intend to work through these issues to achieve a ban.”
Ms McAllan’s predecessor in the environment portfolio, Roseanna Cunningham previously argued for glue traps to be permitted but said the Government’s preferred option “would be to allow the continued use of glue traps but by professional pest controllers only”.
In the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission review of the use of the devices, it concluded: “The commission believes that the animal welfare issues connected with the use of glue traps would justify an immediate outright ban on their sale and use.”
There is currently no legislation governing the use of glue trap boards to catch rodents in Scotland, although if an animal gets caught in one the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 applies, meaning they should kill any caught rodents.
If another species is caught, it should be released or, if necessary, humanely killed.