Paris official says city’s vast rat population is subject to prejudice

The The huge rat population in Paris, according to a city official, is the target of discrimination, and the animal needs a new name to stop people from murdering it.

Douchka Markovic, co-chair of the Animalist Party which supports animal rights and a supporter of socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, recently claimed at a council meeting that the name “rat” incites violence.

As she pushed back against center-right councilor Paul Hatte’s demands on the need to expand pest control and eradication measures, Markovic replied: “I like to call them rat rats (which loosely translates to “oversized field mouse”).

Paris was ranked the fourth most rat-infested city in the world earlier this year by French review site Topito, and the staggering number of rodents is giving the city’s tourism officials a bad image.

Meanwhile, the National Academy of Medicine of France has declared that the increase in the population of rats constitutes a “danger to human health because of the multiple diseases they transmit through parasites, feces, bites and scratches”.

However, Markovic, who is in charge of regulating animal welfare in the French capital’s 18th arrondissement, said the rats have become a natural cleaner of the city’s sewers, are essential in helping with waste disposal. and must be guarded in moral and non-lethal ways.

‘[They are] our waste control assistants. We must first note the role played by animals on a daily basis in the sewers, with the evacuation of several hundred tonnes of waste and the unblocking of the pipes, ”insisted the city councilor.

It comes as Mayor Hidalgo faces fierce opposition over what many believe is his culpability in the decline of France’s biggest city amid social media campaigns drawing attention to rising trash and violence in the streets.

At the meeting and on social media, people laughed at Markovic’s protest and made fun of him in several other ways.

The Ratatouille movie will be renamed Surmulotatouille, one person said in a remark. Others submitted photos of tigers with the description, “That’s a huge cat.”

In 2017, the Paris City Hall announced a budget of 1.5 million euros per year to modernize garbage collection services and deploy “smart” bins, which compress waste and close automatically to prevent rats from wandering around. ‘walk in. This was the start of an effort to stem the city’s growing rat population.

But a 2019 study found there are now almost twice as many rats in Paris as there are people, and a combination of Covid lockdowns and construction projects driving rats out of their homes more suburban and rural encouraged rodents on city streets.

Socialist Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo has faced widespread criticism for the French capital's perceived declineAs her city prepares to host the 2024 Olympics, Mayor Hidalgo has come under fire for pursuing ambitious infrastructure initiatives at the expense of much-needed garbage collection services and angry city workers.

Before the Games arrive in the capital in two years, the socialist mayor has pledged to clean up the city.

However, a social media campaign earlier this year drew attention to Hidalgo’s troubles when angry Parisians flooded Twitter and Instagram with photos of rubbish-covered streets and overflowing bins.

The images, accompanied by the hashtag #SaccageParis (Looting of Paris) contrasted the decline of what was once one of Europe’s most popular destinations.

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