Pond rats getting out of hand

PUBLISHED: 10:41 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

RATS are plaguing a village pond bringing the risk of disease. The rat population in Shenley pond is thriving through a combination of a relatively warm winter and also the amount of bread being thrown into the pond by people feeding the wild ducks. Probl

RATS are plaguing a village pond bringing the risk of disease.

The rat population in Shenley pond is thriving through a combination of a relatively warm winter and also the amount of bread being thrown into the pond by people feeding the wild ducks.

Problem

Now Shenley Parish Council is to take action and has called in the services of a rat catcher who will lay down poisoned bait.

Shenley parish clerk John Marks said they had the same problem last year after a warm winter followed by a warm summer gave better rat breeding conditions.

This year, when it was evident that the rats were breeding well again, the parish council were asked to control them.

Mr Marks said the problem was partly due to the weather but partly because the ducks preferred eating duck pellets to bread so most of the bread thrown in the pond by people was left for the rats to eat.

The council had put up signs telling people not to feed the ducks but other than that there was little they could do to stop it.

Now they would have to rely on poison which was an effective solution last summer but he warned that although the poison was harmless to the ducks, it was dangerous to dogs.

The council want to get rid of the rats because of a combination of the creatures carrying disease and the public's fear of the animals. "They are vermin," Mr Marks added.

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