Giant 'super rats' in Luxembourg? No says minister
(ADW) The UK has recently reported scares of some kind of ‘giant’ brown rat, not only larger than their peers, but also immune to poison. Similar larger rodent sightings have been reported in Moscow. So could they also be present in Luxembourg?
No, says the Environment Ministry stating that there is no evidence of a “super rat” in the Grand Duchy. This information came to light after a parliamentary question was raised by DP MPs André Buler and Max Hahn stating concerns of mutated rats seen in the UK could be present on the European continent.
60 to 80 centimetres long?
The rats in question are said to be 60 to 80 centimetres in length and have conquered Britain’s towns and villages. Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg reassured the people's representatives that something like a "super rat" does not exist, at least not in Luxembourg.
In fact over time, rats have developed a resistance to poison. This is the result of using so-called “rodenticides”, a chemical agents against rodents, for many years. In particular rodenticides have been used to fight migrating rats. Over the years the animals have developed DNA mutations as a natural protection against poisons.
Limited use of rodenticides
Quoting studies carried out at the University of Huddersfield in England, the Minister stated that the results have shown that to avoid such resistance, rodenticides should only be used in very limited quantities and circumstances. At the same time it was also pointed out that the poison can also kill natural enemies of the rat.
In Luxembourg no information regarding the use of rodenticides is currently available, but also no giant rats have been seen. However brown rats are very common in the Grand Duchy but do not present a problem.
The ‘normal’ brown rat size, not including the tail, is on average 25 centimetres in length. The tail is about a body-length again.
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