SNP urged to use £70 million recycling fund amid claims more rats are on Scotland’s streets

The SNP has been urged to use a £70 million recycling fund now amid claims more rats are on Scotland’s streets.

The SNP have been urged to use a £70 million recycling fund now amid claims more rats are on Scotland’s streets.
The SNP have been urged to use a £70 million recycling fund now amid claims more rats are on Scotland’s streets.

Last year was a bumper one for rats, with numbers in Edinburgh soaring by 25 per cent due to a combination of lockdowns, vacant commercial property and poor waste management.

Many have now been forced to move into residential areas due to commercial food sources drying up.

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The total number in the country is now estimated to be 15 million, with numbers soaring across different cities.

In Edinburgh, the estimated rat population is now 1,094,541 – around two for every person.

Ministers had previously claimed they were setting aside the cash to “improve local authority collection infrastructure”, but have now been urged to use it now to fend off the vermin.

Shadow economy secretary Maurice Golden said: “The SNP’s decision to hoard this cash is only making the problems on Scotland’s streets worse.

“This is money that could help councils get out and collect more waste now.

“That would have an immediate impact on street cleanliness, the quality of life across many communities and reducing the prevalence of rats.

“The SNP announced this commitment months ago, yet still as we enter 2021 it hasn’t been handed out to councils who so desperately need the money.

“It’s yet another example of the SNP hoping that warm words will make real problems go away.”

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It comes as it emerged 74 per cent of rats now carry a “hybrid-resistance” to common pest control poisons, which makes controlling an infestation even harder.

The recent 2019/20 Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use survey of rats showed three-quarters of rats in the UK carried a resistance gene to popular rodenticides, with 20 per cent super resistant.

Jenny Rathbone, from Edinburgh based pest controller Pest.co.uk, this week warned the public had to be vigilant to stave off the rodents.

She said: “More and more people in Edinburgh are seeing rats in the open – this is a sign that numbers are very high.

"We are heading for a cold snap and rats are busy raiding food sources and bedding down – calls for infestations are already increasing.”

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