THAILAND: FARMERS FIGHT INFESTATION OF RATS CAUSED BY OVERHUNTING OF SNAKES WHICH USED TO EAT THE RATS
- Title: THAILAND: FARMERS FIGHT INFESTATION OF RATS CAUSED BY OVERHUNTING OF SNAKES WHICH USED TO EAT THE RATS
- Date: 18th February 1996
- Summary: PHAYAO, THAILAND (RECENT) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) NIGHT-SHTOS 1. LV/SV RAT PATROL GOING OUT AT NIGHT (2 SHOTS) 0.14 2. SV RATS CRAWLING ON GROUND 0.17 3. SV MAN HOLDING RAT BY NECK 0.22 4. SV MAN SHOOTING AT RATS IN THE TREES 0.25 5. CU INJURED RAT ON GROUND 0.28 6. SV MAN HOLDING RAT ON STICK 0.34 7. SV MAN KILLING RAT WITH A STICK 0.43 8. SV GROUP OF DEAD RATS COLLECTED 0.49 9. GV SUNRISE 0.51 DAY-SHOTS 10.SV DEAD RATS NEAR POISON 0.54 11.SV MAN PUSHING DEAD RATS IN A PILE 0.59 12.CU PILE OF DEAD RATS 1.08 13.LV FARMERS WALKING TO FIELDS 1.12 14.LV/SLV FIELD WORKERS CHECKING CROPS ATTACKED BY RATS (2 SHOTS) 1.21 15.SV FARMERS DIGGING AND DOGS SNIFFING OUT RATS 1.24 16.SV DOG CHASING RAT / HOLDING RAT IN ITS MOUTH (2 SHOTS) 1.32 17.SV MAN HOLDING RATS, DOGS SNIFFING 1.35 18.SV/CU FARMER SHOWING DAMAGE DONE BY RATS TO CROPS (2 SHOTS) 1.44 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVACZO02WIJF3315BY0RIP2FMC0R
- Location: PHAYAO, THAILAND
- Duration: 00:01:45
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: It may be the Year of the Rat, according to the Chinese calendar, but rodents in a northern Thai province have nothing to celebrate.
Villagers in the province of Phayao say they have been infested by rats since snake hunters flocked to the area to catch the snakes which used to eat the rats.
The farmers, who say the rats are now nibbling their way through their crops, have declared war and rat casualites are heavy and mounting.
"Some days I catch up to 600 rats," said local farmer Phuan Phaonoi, 63.
"The snake catchers have caused a lot of trouble for us farmers. They've caught all the snakes that used to eat the rats as part of the natural ecological balance," he said.
The local agriculture department has put a bounty on the rats and offers 100 baht (four 4 U.S. dollars) for every 200 tails brought in.
"Over the past year we've paid out about 150,000 baht (6,000 U.S. dollars) for 3,000,000 rat tails," said local agriculture official Phunuwat Sungchum.
The embattled rats are facing a sustained offensive on all fronts and being killed off by just about every method possible -- poison, shooting and primitive cross-bow type weapons.
Phuan, and his dog Han, are leading rat hunters in the area with Han finding the holes where the rats are hiding.
Rats which fall victim to poison are buried and burned after their tails are chopped off but rats caught by other means often end up on the dinner table.
A rat vendor at the local market said she sells about 100 rats a day, earning about 50 baht (two U.S. dollars).
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- Embargoed:4th March 1996 12:00