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Better “cohabit” with rats: Anne Hidalgo launches a “committee” on the issue to deal with their proliferation



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The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo will set up a working group on the “cohabitation” of rats with the inhabitants of the capital.

Kill the rats or confine them to the sewers? The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, criticized for the visibility of rodents in the capital, will set up a working group on “cohabitation” with these animals, her health assistant said Thursday, June 8. “The question of cohabitation arises”, declared during the Paris council Anne Souyris in response to a question from the mayor LR of the 17th arrondissement Geoffroy Boulard, who asked her “a more ambitious plan to fight against the proliferation of rats”.

“A committee on the question of this cohabitation”

“We have decided, with the mayor, recently, to also form a committee on the question of (…) this cohabitation”, with the aim “of being both the most effective and of doing in so that it is not unbearable for Parisians,” said the elected ecologist.

The animal defense association Paris Animals Zoopolis, which calls for “non-lethal methods”, welcomed this announcement to AFP. Rats are “not a public health problem”, cases of transmission of leptospirosis by bite can only concern garbage collectors, who can benefit from a vaccine, said Ms. Souyris. However, “that does not mean that the rats should be allowed to roam the city”, she added, recalling the municipal plan put in place since 2017.

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In addition to the purchase of “thousands of new trash cans” and lethal traps “when you can’t do otherwise”, the town hall is also betting on “prevention” and “verbalization” of the inhabitants, because the abandonment of waste on the ground “is the major cause of the multiplication and externalization of rats”, recalled the deputy.

A nuisance “to the quality of life of Parisians”

Geoffroy Boulard was moved that one of the objectives of a research project currently being carried out by the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, the Institut Pasteur, VetAgro Sup and the Sorbonne, in conjunction with the town hall, is to “fight against prejudices to help Parisians better cohabit with rats”.

“The presence of these rodents on the surface harms the quality of life of Parisians” and the stay of “44 million visitors” annually, he argued. The elected environmentalist Douchka Markovic, who had provoked a debate in 2022 by asking to favor the term “row rats”, less pejorative according to her, underlined that they were “useful” in their ecosystem and denounced an “abnormal, unjustified fear” some rats.

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