Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Action against rats in Blackburn Cathedral grounds

BLACKBURN Cathedral’s grounds are being plagued by rats.
Now bosses have put an exterminator in place to deal with the vermin and ensure they do not enter the cathedral itself.
Environmental health chiefs said pest controllers were dealing with hundreds of call-outs per month across the town centre, with an explosion in the level of complaints in recent years.
Experts said there is a particular problem in Blackburn because rats love water and there are miles and miles of sewers and culverted rivers under the streets of the town.
Canon Andrew Hindley said pest controllers have been working in the cathedral grounds in the past week.
He said: “We have an ongoing problem. We are very near to the Blakewater river and the culvert actually comes up in our grounds.
“I do not think we have an infestation but there is an issue.
“Inevitably rats congregate around the culvert and spread out in to the grounds.
“All we can do is try to keep on top of it. There are no suggestions of rats getting in to the building.
"At this stage we do not feel the need to get a cathedral cat!”
The issue of rats has long been a problem in Blackburn town centre with concerns that litter from takeaways was bringing rats that had lived underground onto the street.
Brown rats, which are the common rat in this area, can carry hundreds of diseases and infections including Weil's disease, tuberculosis and salmonella.
Government figures suggest there are around 60 million rats in the country.
They breed up to nine times a year, producing between six and 24 rats each time.
A spokesman for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign said: "In this country there is a direct link between food dumped on streets and an increase in rats.
“The fact of the matter is that rats feed off our rubbish.
"Unfortunately, fast food litter remains a big problem nationwide and we all have a part to play in tackling this major issue."

Capybara says:

Rats are a constant problem in any urban environment and with local councils needing to find areas to cut costs, many are ceasing their pest control activities.

If you decide on tackling a rat problem yourself , please be careful using rat poisons outdoors and in. Always try and make sure all poisons are protected against untargeted animals, such as pets, children and other wildlife.


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