In Paris, no longer say “rat”, but “sur-mulot”: an elected official calls for “acting differently” with regard to rodents

The brown rat in cities and the brown rat in the fields… Douchka Markovic, councilor of Paris under the banner of the Animalist Party, aroused a myriad of reactions, this Thursday, by delivering a speech aimed at legitimizing the place of rats in the city. Rats “that I prefer to call Norway rats”, she explains straight away, “less negatively connoted”.

Asked by an elected opposition member about “the increase in the number of rats in public spaces”, Douchka Markovic, also a delegate to the mayor of the 18th arrondissement in charge of animal welfare, acknowledges that “the actions carried out so far do not don’t work and are very expensive. Still, she says, a new way to deal with these invasive rodents could be to give them the space they deserve on the streets.

Rats, “helpers in waste management”

For the advisor, the usefulness of rats is greater than the damage they are likely to cause. “A first assessment is already to note the role played by Norway rats on a daily basis in the sewers with the evacuation of several hundred tonnes of waste and the unblocking of pipes”, she argues. In this sense, rats are, continues Douchka Markovic, “our helpers in waste control. A few boos are heard in the assembly.

A cohabitation between man and rat? The chosen one wants to believe it. “We must change the paradigm, we must ask ourselves about new effective and non-lethal methods, she defends. We need to ask ourselves about Norway rats and their ways of living, to get to know them better in order to find effective and ethical methods. »

Douchka Markovic proposes for this experiments that put more emphasis on cleaning the city than on tracking down rats. “A scientific report will be written” at the end of these studies, which must be accompanied by a “plugging of the holes allowing the Norway rats to go up in the buildings” as well as “the installation of the grids in certain places”.

A “lunar” speech, judged in reaction the opposition councilor Paul Hatte who had put the subject on the table at the Council. Sympathizers, right-wing elected officials and defenders of the #SaccageParis movement also consider the position taken by the elected animalist surrealist, when certain Internet users prefer to have fun.

Like it or not, Douchka Markovic’s proposal does not call, a priori, to immobility. She suggests staying attentive to animal welfare by focusing on scientific studies. “A little easy to ignore the solutions proposed to highlight the simplest remarks to caricature”, judges a supporter of the animalist cause who takes his defense on Twitter, in the midst of a flood of criticism.

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