New rat burrows found in Bukit Batok temple and vacant state land

Temple volunteer Madam Shen holds up two trapped rats.
Temple volunteer Madam Shen holds up two trapped rats. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - About 20 rat burrows have been spotted along a footpath near a temple in Bukit Batok East, but they have been sealed and treated, the authorities said on Thursday (March 31).

Rodent activity was also found on the vacant state land behind the temple. The Housing Board (HDB) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), in response to queries from The Straits Times, said they will work together to intensify rat control work.

The rats have been spotted eating food offerings at the See Thian Foh temple at Bukit Batok Street 23, Shin Min Daily News reported on Wednesday (March 30).

 
 

A temple volunteer, identified only as Madam Shen, told the Chinese daily that the rodents have been a problem for close to five months, usually appearing at night.

The 73-year-old retiree claimed she recently found 28 dead rats at the back door of the temple, apparently the result of poisoning.

She showed Shin Min two rats - one of them 10cm long - caught using traps set up by temple staff.

 

In response to queries from The Straits Times, NEA said on Thursday (March 31) that it had detected the burrows on March 24. A pest control operator was asked to treat and seal them.

The agency said its latest inspection on Thursday showed that "there is no more rat activity or active burrows along that footpath".

Meanwhile, rat activity was also detected at the vacant state land behind the temple on Wednesday (March 30).

Mr Chen Mu Xing, 62, a packaging worker who works close to the area, said the rats are a common sight each night on a grassy hill behind a bus stop near the temple.

Another temple volunteer, identified as Mr Liu, told Shin Min that the rats were eating leftover food that workers in the area were feeding to stray dogs.

NEA will work with HDB, which manages the land, to intensify the rat control works.

It will also work with HDB and the temple management to ensure good housekeeping, refuse management, and adequate pest control checks and treatment to prevent further infestation.

In December 2014, a rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT station was reported in the media. More than 300 rats were killed by pest controllers over two weeks, earlier reports said.