Bukit Batok rat infestation due to people feeding stray dogs, say authorities

Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Pest controllers from Star Pest Control deployed to get rid of rats at slope near Bukit Batok MRT station on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Rat infestations will not stop unless people stop feeding stray dogs and leaving food around for the rodents to feast on.

The authorities said that even though they have been carrying out anti-pest operations, the problem won't go away unless people stop feeding the stray dogs in Bukit Batok, a joint statement released on Thursday by the Housing Development Board (HDB), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), and Jurong Town Council stated.

"We have intensified our pest control measures to eradicate the rodents and in response to public complaints on aggressive stray dogs, we are continuing with stray dog control operations. However, for these efforts to be effective, the feeding of stray dogs needs to cease. Feeders should also not interfere with stray dog control operations and tamper with traps and other equipment," said the statement.

The group of government agencies also said that the indiscriminate feeding of stray dogs in the area by the public has led to leftover food scraps.

"This has in turn attracted rodents and given rise to their infestation," they said.

The statement warned: "Rodents will proliferate whenever food sources are available, due to improper disposal of food or leftovers from the feeding of strays. Rodent control measures will fail as long as the root cause is not resolved."

 

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According to the statement, the rat-busting operation was supplemented by other measures that targeted the feeding of stray dogs. These include putting up fencing to keep the dogs away from the common areas, conducting stray dog control operations and putting up notices to remind the public not to feed the dogs.

The land on which the infestation occurred is state land, managed by HDB for the Singapore Land Authority.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg