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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 11:50 PM
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In France, Even the (Paris) Rats Have Rights

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By Josh Jacobs and Matthew Dalton
Aug. 10, 2018 11:17 a.m. ET

PARIS—Rats were popping up at supermarkets, parks and nurseries when a city official convened a crisis meeting last fall to discuss ways to cull the population.

That was the first time Geoffroy Boulard, mayor of the 17th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, realized the rodents are backed by a vocal lobby. Ten protesters stepped forward to denounce exterminators’ plans to poison the animals. They urged a more humane method: Deploy birth-control drugs.

Their position was “indefensible, given the scale of the infestation,” says Mr. Boulard. “We can’t get accustomed to having rats in public spaces.”

The city’s pro-rat activists disagree. Rattus norvegicus, the species of rat endemic to big cities, has the right to inhabit the City of Light like any other mammal, they say. The activists regard poisons and rat traps as a form of unusual cruelty. When the city stepped up exterminations 18 months ago, they unleashed an online petition that garnered almost 26,000 signatures . . . .

The resistance movement is good news for Paris’s robust rat population. There is no formal count, a city hall official says. One rat-control expert’s estimate puts it at about four million, a 1.8 rat-to-human ratio . . . .
https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-fran...s&page=1&pos=1
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 3:10 AM
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Reminds me of that Disney Pixar movie that came out a decade ago about a rat that wanted to cook. I guess it has a following over there?
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 3:13 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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I suspect this story is blowing things out of proportion. I doubt many people are lining up to save the rats...

That said, poison isn’t the end-all. They need to look at how trash collection operates and make changes. Bags on the ground, no. Also demolition stirs up rats that had been under foundations.

I’ve heard the increase in dog ownership is an issue since rats eat dog poop.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 7:23 AM
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Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
I doubt many people are lining up to save the rats...
Well 26,000 is pretty specific and for every signer of a petition like that I'm sure there are many people who agree to some extent but are just too lazy or indifferent to act by actually signing.

By the way, I'm kind of pro-rat myself. I had pet rats as a kid.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 7:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jd3189 View Post
Reminds me of that Disney Pixar movie that came out a decade ago about a rat that wanted to cook. I guess it has a following over there?
I loved that movie:

Ratatouille
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 12:42 PM
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They are correct on one level, but rats are not “any other mammal”. They’re a pest that spread from China with human trade and depends on human cities as habitat and food source. They’re one step short of a parasite. It’s not as if Paris is their natural habitat and we have encroached on them.

Everywhere should just follow Alberta’s lead:
http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/%24depar.../all/agdex3441
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 12:52 PM
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1.8 rat to human ratio!

Yes Paris, you must protect those flea bag mammals that are responsible for the deaths of about 60% of the European population just 650 years ago, taking about 200 years for the global human population to recover.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 3:29 PM
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Paris just needs more cats...

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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Paris just needs more cats...

They are everywhere in the Mediterranean, but cats wouldn’t do well in Parisian winters, or rain.
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There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." - Isaac Asimov
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2018, 9:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
They are everywhere in the Mediterranean, but cats wouldn’t do well in Parisian winters, or rain.
But Paris isn't really that cold, compared to some US and even Canadian cities with feral or stray cats. There are or once were famous cities with stray cat colonies in climates as cold as Ottawa's for instance (though in the Ottawa case I think the colony was removed as the stray cats ended up being adopted by people, after living as strays for generations).

Though to be fair, I think survival of the cats also kind of depends a bit on the help and care of human volunteers in times when it's rather harsh even when they're mostly living independently.
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  #11  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Paris just needs more cats...

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