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Delhi government bans glue traps to protect non-target animals

Delhi government bans glue traps to protect non-target animals

The Delhi government has issued directions to ban the manufacturing, sale, and use of glue traps in the city citing cruelty. These “illegal” traps lead to the death of non-target animals like squirrels and birds.

The director of the animal husbandry unit has instructed various departments to avoid using “cruel” glue traps within their jurisdiction. The director has cautioned that any violation could lead to them taking action under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The order came after animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, sought a ban.

These traps, which are usually made of plastic trays or sheets of cardboard covered with strong glue, are often used to control menacing rodents like rats, mice, and some insects. However, these traps are indiscriminate killers that frequently ensnare non-target animals. This makes their use also a violation of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which prohibits the “hunting” of protected indigenous species.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and some others have already banned the method following an advisory of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in 2011.

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PETA welcomed Delhi’s move

PETA India applauds Delhi government for taking this step to spare countless animals from hideously slow and painful deaths.

The PETA India had earlier requested to implement the AWBI’s directions against the glue traps. The governments of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal have issued similar circulars taking action on glue traps, as per a statement by PETA.

Anticoagulant rodenticides: A serious threat to predatory birds

Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are a serious threat to predatory birds, according to a 2020 study by Tufts University, Massachusetts, United States. The study found that all the red-tail hawks in their sample size “tested positive for exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides”. Moreover, 91% of the birds tested positive for two or more different types of anticoagulant rodenticides, with SGARs brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone found most frequently.

However, there is no data quantifying the impact of ARs on birds of prey in India available at the moment. Ashwin Vishwanathan, research associate, Nature Conservation Foundation, said that findings from studies done in other countries indicate this is a serious threat to predatory birds. Researchers should conduct research in the country to understand the nature and scale of the problem as well as solutions.

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They ban certain SGARs in the US, British Columbia in Canada, and partially in the United Kingdom (effective from July 2024).

Moreover, this class of rodenticides is also toxic for humans. Of 14,867 cases reported to the National Poison Information Centre, a telephone service by the Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 17.06% were due to rodenticides. Poisoning is the second-most common means adopted by people dying of suicide, according to a report in The News Minute. 

In India, some 29,408 people died of suicide by consuming poison in 2021, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

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