Following on from a social media post earlier this afternoon, Councillor William McCandless revisited Christie Park following more complaints.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this evening Councillor William McCandless said “This afternoon I went to look at the problem as more people had contacted me about it. I watched as a young mother and her two young boys were feeding bread to the swans. The rats were actually swimming in the water and stealing the bread from the swans. They then came up the jetty where the boys were to get bread.
I counted 8 at one point on the shore, 2 swimming in the water and 4 running around under the jetty. Yes, as some people have pointed in a previous social media post it is their habitat, and yes feeding the swans is giving them a food source – but we cannot tolerate them.
Adult rats can bred between three and seven time per year with a litter of between five and eight, simply do the maths with the number I counted and you can see we have a problem.
Rats have a reputation as dirty and unpleasant animals and if you come into contact with them you will soon realise the reputation is well deserved. Rats continually urinate, their urine contains leptospirosis which can cause liver and kidney damage, another condition is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome which affects the lungs and even salmonella.
I hope this clarifies the seriousness of the situation and why action must be taken.
I have also been getting reports of rats at Anderson’s Park which I wish to assure has also been reported to Environmental Health.”