Skip to comments.Using stray cats for rat control sparks debate (China)
Posted on 08/28/2013 6:54:18 PM PDT by TexGrill
Pest control in Xinjiang seems to work, but many fear felines will freeze
Hundreds of stray cats have been released in northwestern China's prairies to control the region's rat rampage, but the effort has sparkled online debate and concern.
In early August, eight stray cats were released in rat-plagued grassland in Bole, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. They are among a group of around 100 cats that have been introduced this year to control the prairie's rat population.
The city's prairie workstation started introducing urban strays for rat control as early as 2011. So far, more than 600 stray cats have been released into some 5,300 hectares of rat-infested grasslands around the city.
"There are a large number of stray cats in our city. We think using them to eradicate the rodent population on the prairie can be a win-win solution," said Guan Tingxian, head of the city's prairie workstation.
Prairie rats eat grass roots and burrow into the grassland, which can increase desertification.
As in many places in China, local residents in Bole typically use traps or poison for rat control.
However, these methods have been less than effective, especially poison, which not only causes pollution but also harms livestock and predators such as foxes and eagles.
Over the past three years, the use of strays to control prairie rats has appeared to be effective, as cats are often seen hunting and catching the rats.
(Excerpt) Read more at english.peopledaily.com.cn ...
What’s so controversial about using cats to get rid of rats?
And then what do they do with the (fattened up) cats?
“And then what do they do with the (fattened up) cats?”
Fattened cats coming to a Chinese Buffet near you.
Exactly right. Cats kill for sport even when well fed. Cats also can quickly over populate an area.
I would recommend raptors such as hawks which are pretty much self limiting.
Sell em as prairie rabbit.
Business Opportunity - Cat Ranches:
I didn’t think so either. Westerners in the Chinese media have a weird fascination for stray cats and cheese factory stories. One time a group at China Daily organized a weekend for helping stray cats in Beijing. I asked the same group if they wanted to also help disabled orphans in rural China. They said no. Nonetheless I wrote a few stories about that topic anyways:
I’d recommend the feisty rat terrier for this duty but they wouldnt fare too well in that neck of the woods.
The Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society In New York City are owners of rat terriers who actively hunt urban rats. That was perhaps the original purpose of the entire breed.
A top terrier can kill an enormous number of rats quickly.
In traditional farming Americana, communities would make enormous stacks of bales of hay during harvest, stored outside to dry, then when the weather cooled, they would form a circle around the base of the stack, with rat dogs and boys and men with .22 rifles.
Men at the top would tear off bales, for wagons below, and startled rats would descend to the base of the stack then make a break for it across open ground. What followed would be a slaughter of thousands of rats by the dogs and the riflemen.
Not a single tear was shed for the rats, either, because the farmers knew that rats could destroy a harvest and leave them and their families without.
"I don't bother chasing mice around..."
I remember years ago being told of uncounted family members crying unreservedly but eliciting no sympathy from their government when they had to hand in all their pets, some of whose ancestral lines had been members of certain families for generations uncounted.
The stories I heard from my nephew going on in Macau yesterday were much wilder. They release cats all over construction zones in the city. Scaffolding on Skyscrapers are made from bamboo and workers are holding on to crane lifts for a final push into place.
Wearing sandals all the while. Whatever
The cats will keep the number of rats down and the Chinese will keep the number of cats down.
Sell em as prairie rabbit.
I think "suburban veal" sounds more expensive.
Larry The Cable Guy is the main guy. And last night he had a long segment on dogs trained to catch rats in New York. It was fascinating, and hillarious! Highly recommend it.
Cat population increases can also be dangerous (for example, rabies epidemics). Here’s a suggestion.
I live in the middle of a terribly thick prairie dog population (rodents saturating high mountain basins). We found, though, that containers (like five-gallon buckets) about half full to five-eighths full of water attract prairie dogs. The rodents drown very quickly in the buckets. Boards can be placed on inclines from tops of buckets to the ground to make it much easier for the rodents to get into the buckets.
I’ve seen five prairie dogs get into one bucket in one day. They don’t get back out. Granted, it’s dry here, and the idea might work better on higher, dryer Chinese prairies (near foothills or on steppes). Some might say that the method is cruel. But in my opinion, it’s far less cruel than rat poison. It’s even less cruel than choking them to death on a piece of bread (as some warriors of the past have done for their best wounded buddies).
Using twenty buckets and emptying them often enough, BTW, 40 acres could probably be cleared within about a week during summer.
I forgot to mention one more thing. The prairie dogs here are carrying Bubonic Plague. There are no fleas at these high elevations, but the Plague is communicable to humans from the rodents in several ways (pets, other contact, etc.).
LOL! That song started playing in my head after reading that headline.
I would like to read a little of that sparkling debate.
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