Drakeford warned his plan for rats will close hospitals and schools

Mark Drakeford clashes with Davies over Welsh NHS

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Mark Drakeford has been accused the welfare of rodents above of people in Wales with a plan to ban glue boards for catching mice and rats. A briefing by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), seen by Express.co.uk, has warned that the plan will lead to “food shortages across swathes of Wales” and lead to hospital departments, schools, nursing homes, restaurants, pubs, supermarkets and any other public venue with food completely shut down for weeks if a rat or mouse is found.

The plan was rejected by the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs for England but is now being pushed through by Drakeford’s Welsh Labour government, adding to concerns about the already worst performing NHS and schools in the UK.

Supporters of the ban, including the RSPCA, argue that glue boards are inhumane because they leave rodents to starve to death.

But the BCPA has said that a simple licencing scheme rather than an all out ban would prevent this from happening.

A source involved in the talks was clear about the impact of relying on poison to kill rodents.

The source added: “Same for school canteens. Where will kids eat? Where will kids go if a school is closed? Where will the residents go if a nursing home has to temporarily close?

“A grocery shop in a rural village in Wales with an elderly population. What happens to the elderly villagers if they rely on the shop for groceries and provisions?”

The official briefing is equally blunt.

It noted: “Rats and mice carry dangerous pathogens that can cause distress, disease and death. They contaminate food in warehouses and shops, endangering an already fragile hospitality sector.

“Public Health Wales (PHW) agreed there were detrimental effects of pests, such as the transmission of infectious diseases, and ‘therefore, it is in the interest of public health to have effective pest control measures where there is a risk.'”

It warned: “An infestation of a supermarket would have an exponentially dramatic effect which could mean a store closure would result in food shortages across swathes of villages and towns.”

They also disputed that glue boards are inhumane.

“Glue boards catch a rat or mouse rapidly by creating a physical barrier between the rodent and its food source.

“Glue boards don’t kill rodents; leaving an animal to starve on a glue board is already rightfully illegal. Once caught on the trap, rodents must be humanely dispatched by a trained professional.”

The BPCA added: “Surely the public health of citizens must be prioritised over animal welfare.”

It went on: “Where a rat or mouse is present in a pub or restaurant, a supermarket or corner shop in a school, hospital ward or nursing home, Environmental Health Officers will close operations down until the rodent is dealt with. This would regularly take around two weeks without professional glue board treatments.”


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In oral evidence given to the Committee, Ian Andrew (chief executive of BPCA) said:“Absolutely, we can capture and deal with rats and mice without glue traps, if you’re willing to have hospital wards closed, school canteens closed, small businesses closed, for up to two weeks.

“If that’s the level of acceptability, then absolutely we can deal with rodent infestations through rodenticides, while we still have them, and through break-back traps.

“What we cannot do, however, is deal with an infestation quickly without the glue trap.

“It’s the only means of rapid capture.”

UK Hospitality Cymru stated: “We believe that public health would suffer should a complete ban on glue traps be introduced. Rodents would, in some situations, become extremely difficult to control and treatment programmes prolonged unnecessarily. This may result in the closure of members’ businesses either temporarily or permanently.”

Legislation on the issue was first raised in 2021 by Tory MP Jane Stevenson when she brought forward the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill which led to a ban by members of the public using them in England and Wales but not trained pest controllers.

The prosposed ban in Wales is part of the Agriculture Bill and would extend to pest controllers as well.

But the RSPCA backs the ban saying: “Glue traps, also known as ‘glue boards’ or ‘sticky boards’, consist of a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood coated with non-drying adhesive designed to trap rodents such as mice and rats as they cross the board. RSPCA Cymru considers the traps cruel and indiscriminate – and has been campaigning for a ban in Wales.

“Between 2017 and 2022 to date, seven incidents were reported to the RSPCA related to glue traps in Wales alone. A huge 73 percent of incidents seen by the RSPCA across England and Wales concerning glue traps involved non-target species such as pets and other wild animals, many of which were too badly maimed and injured to survive.

“Sadly, in attempting to pull themselves free, animals can rip out patches of fur, break bones or even gnaw through their own limbs to escape.

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