Glueboard traps prohibited from 2015

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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is asking members of the public to be on the lookout for any glueboard rodent traps being used or sold next year.

From 1 January 2015, the sale and use of glueboard traps – which are sticky boards used to monitor and capture rodents – is prohibited under the Animal Welfare (Glueboard Traps) Order 2009.

MPI’s Director Animal and Animal Products, Matthew Stone, says that while MPI supports the need for access to effective pest control tools, this prohibition sends a clear message that glueboard traps are no longer acceptable from an animal welfare perspective.

“There are welfare concerns with glueboard traps over the pain and distress they cause captured rodents – including the length of time the rodents may be left on the traps and the potential for inhumane disposal,” he says.

“Attitudes about animal welfare continually evolve, and it’s important that we keep pace with changes in our society, as well as scientific knowledge, good practice and available technology.”

Ministerial approval can be granted for glueboard traps to be used in some cases where there is strong public interest in effective rodent management and no viable alternative, such as in food processing premises and pest-free islands.

“Effective pest management is essential for New Zealand’s food safety, conservation, primary production and biosecurity, however animal welfare has to be taken into account,” says Mr Stone.

“Pest control operators must make every reasonable effort to find humane alternatives.”

Mr Stone says the Ministry is focused on ensuring pest control operators are aware of the new regulations, however the public need to be vigilant and report any retailers breaching the rules. The public have not been able to use glueboard traps for the last five years.

“Our animal welfare inspectors can’t be everywhere, so we need the public to be our eyes and ears.

“If you see any glueboard traps being sold or used, please report them to your local SPCA or MPI’s animal welfare hotline on 0800 008 333. Calls can be kept confidential if necessary.”

Questions and Answers

What are glueboard traps?

Glueboard traps are boards with a sticky glue layer that are used to capture and hold live rodents. The Animal Welfare (Glueboard Traps) Order 2009 does not cover glueboard traps used to capture insects.

Why have glueboard traps been prohibited?

Due to animal welfare concerns about the pain and distress exhibited by rodents captured on glueboards, the length of time they may be left on the traps and the potential for inhumane disposal, the government decided to regulate glueboard traps for rodents in 2009.

In January 2010 the use of rodent glueboard traps by the general public was banned by the Animal Welfare (Glueboard Traps) Order 2009.  Commercial operators, Department of Conservation staff, boat operators to and from pest-free islands, and pest management staff at food processing premises were given a five-year phase out period.

More information is on the MPI website here .

Are there exemptions to this ban?

From 1 January 2015 the sale or use of rodent glueboard traps is prohibited unless approved by the Minister for Primary Industries (delegated to MPI). Ministerial approval is only granted when the sale or use of glueboards is in the public interest and there is no viable alternative.

Applications must be made to the Director-General of MPI and a case-by-case assessment will be undertaken.

Sellers and users operating under Ministerial approval will be subject to a range of conditions, including a requirement to report annually on trap checking, rodent capture and euthanasia.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Commitee (NAWAC) is an independent committee that will monitor both the granting of Ministerial approvals and the reports that sellers and users are required to supply to MPI.

MPI has established a working group with stakeholders to identify humane alternatives to glueboard traps.

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