Earth Watch Report
Running amok: Film shows rat terrorising subway passengers as city official warns vermin scare tourists away
Vermin are running amok on New York City streets and in subway tunnels, a Manhattan city official warned today.
And as if to confirm the comments, a new video has emerged showing a rat running riot on a New York subway train.
The rat problem is so bad that it is threatening public health and driving tourists from the city, claimed Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer.
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Threat to health and tourism: Rats on a New York City street (file photo)
‘They don’t want to come here and share their vacation with a New York City rat,’ he said.
He demanded $1.5million in ‘rat control’ be restored to the city’s Health Department budget.
The cut, he said, had forced the layoff of 57 pest control workers. That resulted in a spike of 1.5 per cent in complaints over the last year and damage to New York’s appeal as a tourist destination.
And, he said, the rampaging rodents are also a threat to public safety.
‘I find this to be unacceptable because rodents are very dangerous to children and the quality of life of the city,’ Stringer said.
He said the cut ‘makes no sense’ as the city’s pest control programme was collecting around $6million in fines each year from building owners for pest-related health violations.
Running: Terrified passengers raise their feet as a rogue rat runs through a subway car
Horror: YouTube video which emerged in January shows a New York subway rider awakening to find a rat inches from his face
‘Why would you make cuts to a programme that actually makes money for the city?’ Stringer said.
Unless the cuts are restored and the pest control force fortified, the rat control problem is only going to get worse, he said.
City health spokeswoman Susan Craig said the layoffs have ‘had no impact on the agency’s ability to respond to rat complaints’.
The city has adapted to the cuts by doing more comprehensive pest control sweeps of neighborhoods as opposed to responding to individual complaints, she said.
‘Our new approach has allowed us to become better at discovering rat problems, better at notifying landlords about infestations and better at getting properties near each other to treat rat problems simultaneously,’ she said.
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- Superstorm Sandy: New York subway system flooded in ‘worst ever disaster’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- New York City Subway Stations Emptied in Advance of Hurricane Sandy [PICS] (mashable.com)
- New York Subway System May Take Weeks to Recover From Flooding – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Sandy: Deaths, Power Outages, and Flooding in the New York City Subway (slog.thestranger.com)
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