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Paris creates working group on ‘coexistence’ with Rats

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Paris: The city administration of the French capital of Paris has set up a working group on “coexistence” with rats to identify ways to improve the living conditions of citizens despite the widespread presence of rodents, French media reported on Sunday, citing vice-mayor of Paris for health, Anne Souyris.

The group is tasked with developing an “ambitious plan to combat the spread of rats,” the CNEWS broadcaster reported, adding that it is planned to purchase thousands of new dumpsters, as well as install poison traps “in cases where it is necessary.”

The group will also propose measures against city residents who litter on the streets, the report noted.

Souyris said that rats “do not pose a public health problem,” despite the fact that they are carriers of leptospirosis, the report added. However, the disease poses a threat mainly to garbage collectors, who can be vaccinated against it, Souyris noted.

The decision of the city administration was welcomed by animal welfare NGOs, which had previously advocated “non-lethal” methods to control the city’s rodents.

The Paris authorities have been trying for years to deal with the millions of rats that live in the French capital. In 2017, a 1.5 million euro project was launched to reduce the number of rodents in the city. It included such measures as more frequent garbage collection and the placement of poison traps. However, these measures did not have the desired effect and six years later, rodents in the French capital are still numerous.

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