City rats not dying

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite, has bemoaned the fact that the use of rodenticide has not met with persistent and sustained success.

Applewhaite expressed this concern earlier today while addressing the City of Bridgetown Rodent Control Programme at the Barbados Workers Union headquarters. The health officer noted that the Environmental Health Department has achieved some short-term reductions in the rodent population followed by explosive increases.

He further noted that prior to Cricket World Cup in 2007 the department in collaboration with Barbados Tourism Investment Inc constructed and deployed 600 rodent bait stations in and around Bridgetown. Applewhaite disclosed that BTI had provided $17,000 for the project, while the National Conservation Commission had funded the construction of 120 bait stations in several areas of the City.

The senior health officer pointed out that the bait station programme had provided a more systematic approach to tackling the problem and it was now being integrated into the department’s Geographic Information System.

Applewhaite complained though that in spite of earlier efforts, the rodent population in Bridgetown continued to be a major concern to the department. He disclosed that this concern hinged on the fact that the cases of leptospirosis had increased in 2011 and so far for 2012.

“A comprehensive integrated approach is needed to adequately address the rodent situation in the City and by extension the island. This approach calls for key stakeholders to come together for a common cause, through a shared vision to establish a sustainable rodent control programme to reduce the risks posed to the population,” Applewhaite said. (NC)

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