The majority of people do not find Parisian rats to be newsworthy. After all, in the “City of Light,” like in many other cities around the globe, rats are a part of “le quotidien”—daily life. The declared goal to devise a strategy for peaceful “cohabitation” with the rats is new.
Following decades of fighting vermin, Paris City Hall has now put up a committee to look at coexisting with them and create a new strategy for dealing with them that is, according to the deputy mayor for public health of the city, “effective” and “not unbearable” for Parisians.
“Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has a message for the rats overrunning the City of Light: Why can’t we be friends?” Politico said.
As prevalent as public monuments are rats
Rats are a common sight in Paris, as they are in London, New York, and many other major cities throughout the globe. In fact, local media makes fun of rats in Paris, claiming that they are a necessary component of the “unsavoury Parisian decor.” at most cases, seeing them at restaurants is not alarming, and if you complain, a server will usually just tell you not to worry.
After Deshnoke in India, London, and New York, Paris is really the fourth most rat-infested city in the world, with six million more rodent residents than people (2.1 million).
Le Point notes that there is “a long history” between Paris and its rats. They have, in one way or another, impacted everyday life throughout the ages. Rats “swarmed in the sewers, shone on the trestles, ended up in gloves or in cooking pots in the 19th century,” the magazine writes.
The coexistence of rats with Paris is nothing new. For ages, rats have been the most enduring friends of the capital’s residents, inspiring simultaneously revulsion, hysteria, folklore, and imagination.
Additional rat history
Rats were the primary carrier of the bubonic plague in the fourteenth century, which killed about half of humanity. Since then, they have been domesticated and trained for competitions, races, and displays.
Le Point adds, “The city used ‘ratters,’ true eradication professionals who would bring the tails of dead animals to the Town Hall to collect bonuses.” They were hunted down and executed with arsenic. It is possible to kill almost 2,500 rats in one night…The newest fashionable gloves, desired by London’s stylish set, were made from the skins that were gathered and sold to tanners for 10 centimes each.
Rats even turned into a staple diet during the French-Prussian War’s Siege of Paris in 1870, feeding the famished residents. Its meat was said to be similar to that of bird flesh, and they were boiled to prevent food poisoning while filling the tummies of the most ravenous people. Never before has the rat been thus near to Parisians in the winter of 1870.
Trash and blowouts
According to Paris Mayor Anna Hidalgo, the city is continuing the eradication campaign that began in 2017 when thousands of new trash cans and lethal traps were installed because waste on the ground “is the major cause of the multiplication…of rats.” This is in addition to the campaign of “prevention” and “verbalization” of the residents.
Particularly earlier this year during and after municipal strikes in March that took place across the nation in protest of President Emmanuel Macron’s raising of the retirement age and that resulted in trash piling up across the city, Hidalgo has come under heavy fire for not doing more to reduce the number of rats.
CNN asks, “Can humans and rats live together?” “Paris is attempting to ascertain.”
The new programme is a component of Project Armageddon, an ongoing research project that aims to “develop a better knowledge of urban biodiversity and help manage Paris rats.”
Although “Paris’ rats do not pose a’significant’ public health risk,” the mayor’s office claims that the city is still seeking scientific opinion from the French High Council for Public Health. yet, “that does not mean that we should let the rats roam the city.”
Animal rights groups have praised the city’s action in the meantime. The animal rights organisation Paris Animaux Zoopolis said, “The question of cohabitation necessarily arises because rats are present in Paris, as in all major French cities.
Rats are beneficial to the ecology, according to environmentalists, and the “abnormal fear” they arouse is “unjustified.”