WAR ON RATS: Seven dog deaths prompts fresh assault
The City of Sydney will double the number of rat baits it puts out in response to a growing number of rodent sightings which have been linked to a string of dog deaths.
A highly contagious bacterial disease spread through the urine of rats is believed to have claimed the lives of seven dogs in inner-city Sydney in recent months.
Vets have also issued a warning about the outbreak of "leptospirosis", which can be transferred from animals to humans.
The City of Sydney released a statement this morning saying rat populations have been stirred by an "unprecedented number of major construction and infrastructure projects".
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the council was "very concerned by the recent cases of leptospirosis in Sydney, affecting dogs in our local area".
She said council would double the number of rat bait stations in public areas and increase inspections to monitor rat activity.
"We will now have 860 rat bait stations in public areas and will place additional baits out when we receive complaints from residents and businesses," Ms Moore said.
"We can't fight the rat problem on our own, because we can only install rat baits on our own land. The City has written to Sydney Trains, Property NSW, Sydney Water and NSW Land and Housing Corporation to urge them to increase baiting and monitoring of rats on their land.
"We also need residents and businesses to take care with food scraps and other waste. Our regulatory staff will continue to target poor waste management practices and illegal dumping in hot spots."
Council has also recommended private property owners ensure regular pest control is carried out, and remove overgrown vegetation and accumulated rubbish that may attract vermin.
More than 135 City of Sydney staff monitor rats as part of their duties while 25 environmental health officers regularly inspect food premises and shopping centres.