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Rat Population

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he collects on the money spent by sewerage undertakers on control of rat populations; and what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of that control. (116156)

The Department does not collect information on monies spent by sewerage undertakers on the control of rat populations, which is not one of their statutory functions. Nor does it make regular assessments of the effectiveness of sewerage undertakers’ control of rat populations in sewers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken as a result of his Department’s review of liaison arrangements between water companies and local authorities in relation to sewer baiting for rats; and what further measures are planned. (116164)

A joint protocol, published in 1999 by the Local Government Association and Water UK, set out arrangements for closer working relationships between water companies and local authorities on rodent infestations in sewers. Sewer baiting policy is a matter for individual water companies.

The last review, undertaken in 2003, did not receive sufficient responses to enable any clear conclusions to be drawn from the information provided.

I am not aware of any representations from local authorities or water companies requiring further guidance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the work of the Rats in Sewers Working Group. (116165)

The Rats in Sewers Working Group was established to encourage the development of joint strategies between local authorities and water companies for sewer baiting and the control of rodent populations. This resulted in the publication of a joint protocol by the Local Government Association and Water UK.

The Working Group aims to meet, as appropriate, to discuss issues such as the effectiveness of the protocol.