Special Report filed by AAF Animal Attack Files Special Report
from The Salt Lake Tribune

      Super rats pose threat to Britain
By Andrew Hibberd

Thursday, November 9, 2000

GROWING fat on junk food litter, a new breed of super rats which are immune to modern poisons is threatening Britain, pest controllers said yesterday.

Britain's rat population has soared to the highest levels in recent memory, according to research by the National Pest Technicians' Association. With rat infestations reported to local authorities increasing 18 per cent last year, the association has urged the Government to launch an urgent investigation "before the rat situation gets out of control".

John Davison, the association's secretary, said that rats were building up resistance to anti-coagulant poisons introduced after they had already grown immune to warfarin.

Now, the association said, the rats are also avoiding more powerful poisons after they have seen the effects these have on other rats. "Rats are very smart animals, which is why they're still here," he explained.

Global warming could also play a part in the rodents' survival as fewer rats died from the cold in the winter, said the association. The north and western parts of the Home Counties, particularly Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, were reportedly rat "hot spots". The town of Newbury, Berks, received a special mention in the report.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2000

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