New Task Force Approach to Tackle Rats

Authorities are trying out a new approach to tackle rats by setting up a task force of various stakeholders, such as town councils, and eatery or mall operators to coordinate rat control works. They will engage pest control operators and coordinate rat control plans to manage the overall situation.

Four areas (Redhill Close, Bedok Central, Clementi Avenue 3, and Bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang) were chosen for the pilot, as 40 to 130 burrows were found in each area, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The trial aims to "ensure that a holistic and coordinated effort is undertaken to deny rats food and harbourage", said NEA. Early results show a 15 to 70 per cent reduction in burrows per area.

The rat menace has grown – about 1,000 more burrows were found in public areas last year, up from about 42,000 in 2014. An average of about 85 per cent of them were in housing estates managed by town councils. More than 80 per cent of these were found near bin chutes and bin centres.

Stricter enforcement is being stepped up and town councils welcomed the move. They now face a $150 fine for a first offence in poor refuse management. From July, an additional $200 fine will apply if rat infestation is found. They could also be ordered to deal with the rats on top of the fine, or face another fine not exceeding $20,000 if they fail to comply.

Any ideas on how else the rat problem could be effectively tackled? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: “Task force set up to fight rat menace” (The Straits Times, 26 Apr 2016)

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