Zoologist calls to exterminate giant rats biologically


PESHAWAR: While taking notice of news stories about increasing incidents of bites by new and dangerous breed of giant rats in Peshawar, Zoologists have called for holding thorough research on finding out origin, feeding habits, threats to public health and way to exterminate the rodent biologically.

Talking to APP here on Saturday, Assistant Professor Zoology Department of Peshawar University, Zaigham Hasan said that increasing population of rats cannot be eliminated through killing them by using toxicants or carrying out `Combat Operation’ against them.

These rats are increasing their population with an alarming speed and could only be eliminated by finding out a solution of killing them medically or biologically by spreading a disease among them.
Holding of `Combat operation’ may reduce rodent’s population for a period of time, but within a limited period they will overcome the loss due to rapid population speed which is around two dozen kids by a pair within a period of three months.

Zaigham said Zoology department is ready to cooperate with provincial government in finding out solution to problem of increasing population of giant rats which are now also biting human beings and posing serious health hazard.

He said if the population of these rats is not controlled they will not only cause health problem, but will also pose threat to edible goods by eating or even polluting the stock.

The threat to public health is also very serious, Ziagham cautions. He said rats can cause plague epidemic which is very dangerous and can cause mass scale casualties. Similarly, the rat bit can cause increase in occurrence of rabies among people which is also very dangerous and fatal.

Zaigham Hasan said if provincial government provides funds and resources, the Zoology department is ready to carry research in finding out origin, feeding habits and threat to public health caused by giant rodents.

In response to conspiracy theories being spread in city that these rodents are brought and spread by someone from outside, Zaigham said mostly an exotic species comes here during import of eatable goods from one country to another.

However, he went on to say, the threat of these giant rats to public health is of very sever and should be taken seriously.He recalled that once rabbit population increased at an alarming level in Australia which was not posing any health hazard but affected agriculture production. The concerned authorities carried out research to control the population by spreading disease in the animal.

“So if government wants to control or get rid of these giant rodents, it has to work on solid grounds of exterminating the animal by use of chemical or medicines,” he reiterated.
Zaigham Hasan said there are also reports that rat poison or repellent which were used here usually is not working over on these rats.

He said for this there is also need of holding research to find out more effective poisonous chemical and repellent for them.– APP

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