Poll Analysis: Should Rats that Wreck Havoc in a Marketplace be Culled?

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Here is an analysis of the poll question ‘Should Rats that Wreck Havoc in a Marketplace be Culled?’ As of today, the results are:

35% : Hmmm, I dunno
33% : No way!
32% : Yes, definitely!

This poll question refers to the recent case of a local (Singaporean) open wet market that was discovered to be ‘infested’ with rats. As there was a deadly case of food-poisoning, there was a hunt to cull as many rats as possible. It is not unusual that this would be the usual approach the authorities would use, but is there a better solution? Yes. While the rats should be vacated, they needn’t be killed, but trapped and moved to be liberated in nature instead.

It is important to remember that poor hygiene and poor food packing lured the rats to come in the first place. In this sense, their presence is the fault of humans, not the rats who simply want to survive. We also need to remember that since the market is an open one, culling the present rats in no way guarantees that none will ever return. There is however a simple way to keep them out – by building a low-cost low wall around the market compound, that no rat can scale over. [I personally found it quite disturbing that the poll results reveal a balance of uncertainty of what to do with certainty of (not) killing. Killing should always be only the last resort – one seldom taken, if at all.]