Azara Blog: The UK rat population is allegedly increasing

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Date published: 2007/01/05

The BBC says:

The number of rats in the UK has soared, posing a serious risk to public health, according to a study.

Pest controllers reported a 39% increase in call-outs to deal with brown rats from 1999 to 2005.

And the 2006 National Rodent Survey found that during those summers call-outs jumped by 69%, when rats are usually less active in urban areas.
The report found litter, bird feeders, compost bins and derelict urban properties were all partly to blame for the rise.

It also suggested the failure of private water companies to clear rats from the sewers they were responsible for was another contributory factor.
The survey suggested that "recycling mania", as well as fly-tipping and a move by councils towards fortnightly refuse collection, was fuelling the rodent population growth.

Poor maligned rodents. The filthy creatures are the humans, not the rodents. And how many of these rodents were really rats, and how many mice and other rodents? None of the reasons given for the rise seem that significant, although it is obvious that if you collect rubbish fortnightly instead of weekly, that will cause some problems. (That decision was made entirely for pseudo-environmental reasons, and it just goes to show that if you only focus on one narrow consideration in policy making then things can go wrong.)

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