SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A massive rat and mouse plague will hit the Netherlands in a few years’ time if the government goes ahead with plans to ban the sale of poison to private individuals.
Sightings of rats and mice in Dutch cities are already on the increase and, according to the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre (KAD), there are no good alternatives to the poison on the market.
‘We are very worried,’ spokesman Bastiaan Meerburg told Radio 1 news. ‘Lots of people use poison to kill rats and mice in their homes. If it is banned, there is not much left to do the job.’
The Dutch government agency for crop protection said in 2014 that the sale of the poison for mice and rats should be restricted because of its impact on the environment and on birds of prey.
Consumers will no longer be allowed to buy the poison but will be able to bring in professional companies to deal with the problem. ‘We understand that the poison is bad for the environment and are not against a ban in principal,’ Meerburg said.
‘But there is no good alternative. Traps are an option but are more difficult to use … and not all cats are good mousers.’ Local health board figures from 2017 show a 25% rise in rat sightings in Amsterdam and a doubling in Rotterdam.