Rat Control Program Research Paper

Decent Essays
“Norwegian rats were first discovered on a farm near Alsaska on the eastern border of Alberta during the summer of 1950.”2 The economic impact of rats is severe due to their ability to effectively stay concealed in rural parts of a city whilst majorly reducing crop production from mainly contamination. However, the first concern presented after the discovery was the potential risk of diseases that may be carried. Therefore, the decision to halt the migration of Norwegian rats from entering Alberta commenced in 1950 with Alberta’s Department of Agriculture now responsible for rat control. To help further initiate this program rats were officially declared pests in 1950 which required every person and municipality to destroy and prevent pests…show more content…
Additionally, free rat-bait, such as warfarin which was introduced in 1953, is now provided to municipalities that have appointed a pest-control officer. Over the years after the rat-control program was first established, the provincial government’s share of funding had increased drastically from 60 percent in 1971 to 100 percent in 1975. Due to Alberta’s efforts to control the entering of rats, rat infestations has decreased drastically, with a maximum of eight infestations reported per year. In 2002, the program celebrated its 50th anniversary, “Alberta estimating that the rat-control program has prevented $1 billion in rodent-caused damage.”4 However, rats still pose a potential problem in Alberta despite the efforts that were made due to the constant possibility of a rat infestation going un-reported. Therefore, reports of Norwegian rats are headlined in Alberta’s news to notify the citizens that rats are still being found in their province and what they should identify for in their…show more content…
Phil Merrill is the head enforcer of pest control and has been an officer for nearly 40 years of his 65 year old age. The officers “are armed with shotguns, tasked with inspecting the control zone and spreading 10 tonnes of poison annually.”3 Specifically, the rat officer’s main resource is a “bucket of aquamarine poison pellets.”3 However, rat poisons, specifically pellet formed, threaten other animals besides the intended Norwegian rat. When rats consume the fatal poison, it takes a week for the poison to cause fatality. Consequently, during that week, the rat becomes vulnerable to prey due to their recent illness and therefore poses a high potential risk in predators higher up in the food-chain to consume and build up the poison which may become fatal to
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