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Malmö's rats face death by fourteen skewers

TT/The Local · 6 Aug 2010, 15:41

Published: 06 Aug 2010 15:41 GMT+02:00

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The traps have been used in a pilot project in the Möllevångstorget square in the city centre. Mounted in sewers, sensors in the traps detect when a rat passes. The sensors activate a device with fourteen spikes that skewer the rats, which die instantly. The corpses are then washed down the sewers.

Each time a rat is killed, a message is sent to project managers at water company VA Syd, enabling them to monitor the effectiveness of the method.

“It feels good to be something of a pioneer. There’s food lying all over the place round here. We have lots of fast food joints and there’s always access to food,” said project engineer Göte Sernbo.

The results have so far beaten expectations - some 700 rats have so far been killed in the thirteen traps installed at the end of May. Sernbo said he believed that rat poison would eventually cease to be used. Poison is both cruel to rats and harmful to the environment, he argued, but rats need to be controlled:

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“We don’t want rats as they carry an awful lot of diseases - over 50 infectious diseases,” Sernbo said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:17 August 6, 2010 by crofab
Seems pretty humane, as 14 spikes will end things pretty quickly. However, one can't help but wonder how much these things cost.
18:38 August 6, 2010 by mablog
Rats genocide
22:00 August 6, 2010 by ronneby
Good...in most of the other countries rats are controlled naturally......Here in sweden...they should be controlled technically...I call it BOLT(Balance Of Life with Technology)..
03:41 August 7, 2010 by Frank Lee
Are 700 rats substantial in the scheme of things? This sounds like the roach motel approach to pest control. A roach motel can give you a good idea of how many roaches there are in your apartment (for each roach trapped in the hotel, there are usually a few hundred more running free), but it does nothing to reduce their numbers.
13:41 August 7, 2010 by MorbidMiss
It is 700 rats that have no chance of procreating. I would say it has the potential at least to make a fair difference.

Of course if people wasted less food that would help also.
22:02 August 7, 2010 by xykat
Sad, I actually owned a type of rat, a South American Degus, related to the Chinchills. They are super intelligent and loving creatures. I think we are lucky to have these creatures cleaning up after us otherwise we would probably be up to our ears in our own sewer. All of gods creatures have the right to live not just humans.
03:41 August 8, 2010 by JoeSwede
What a cool gadget. I love it. If this helps control the population the good. Are there any negative side affects?

Can other animals get caught?
12:32 August 9, 2010 by La Figaro
What if my shoe falls into the drain and is carried into the sewers, can the device tell the difference?

Where are the anti-animal cruelty groups :p ?
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