Friday, 11 October 2013

Cash for rats scrapped

Several local councils such as Petaling Jaya and Selayang have stopped offering monetary rewards for catching rats, as it is deemed to be ineffective.

Some local councils had been paying between RM1 and RM2 for every rodent caught.

Other local authorities such as Putrajaya Corporation has been offering hampers as well as cash incentives.

Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) Health Department director Dr Razif Zainol Abidin said they had stopped rewarding the public for catching rats since January this year.

“We are focusing on educating the public rather than rewarding them.

“It has not been effective anyway.

“Catching rats does not translate into being responsible residents who keep their properties clean, including the drains,” he said recently.

He added the most effective way to get rid of rats was through poison.

“Every month, we would identify hotspots and put 100 bed stations of poison in a location.

“From there, we would monitor on a daily basis if the bait has been eaten,” he said.

Dr Razif added the method had proven to be effective as they were able to collect 500 to 600 carcasses at a location every month.

For example, 1,300 dead rats were collected in three weeks in Sri Gombak.

“Challenges we face include the dirty drainage system and the fact that rats breed very rapidly.

“Many drains provide an optimum breeding ground for the rodents,” he said.

He added restaurant owners were not taking care of the drains by filtering their waste and treating them.

“Dirty drains attract pests such as rats, mosquitoes and cockroaches.

“Business operators must be responsible in ensuring the cleanliness of drains surrounding their restaurants,” he said.

MPS had also distributed 100 traps at commercial areas such as food courts.

“We tell them to contact us when the traps are full and we will dispose of them safely.

“We dig a hole and put the carcasses in it but we bleach them first to kill all germs,” he said.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Health and Environment Department director Dr Chitra Davi N. Vadivellu said they had stopped giving RM1 for every rat caught as response from residents was poor.

“We find using an innovative rat trap to catch these rats to be more effective.

“We manage to catch about 200 to 300 rats a month,” she said.

She added the council also has a contractor to help with pest control in the area.

However, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) public relations officer Norhayati Ahmad said they were still offering RM3 for every rat handed to them.

“Every assemblyman gives RM2 while RM1 comes from MPAJ. About 500 rats were surrendered last year and 312 so far this year,” she said.

The five assemblymen that contribute are Teratai, Lembah Jaya, Cempaka, Bukit Antarabangsa and Hulu Klang.

The council has identified Pasar Pandan Jaya, Bandar Baru Ampang, Keramat, Pekan Ampang and Taman Kosas as hotspots for the rats.


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