PETA Wants New York City’s ‘Rat Czar’ to Focus on Humans

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3 min read

New York just hired its first “rat czar,” Kathleen Corradi, in a publicity-seeking move intended to address the number of rats in the city. We’re not impressed, and we have some advice for New York City Mayor Eric Adams regarding his hiring of a “bloodthirsty rat hater”: Bloodlust won’t clean up the root of the problem.

Not only is the war that so many cities, towns, businesses, and individuals try to wage on rats completely unjust, it also attacks the problem from the wrong end. Rats, who are sensitive, compassionate, and intelligent animals who help other rats they don’t know, are just following humans’ lead. Why employ a rat czar to waste taxpayers’ money by trying to treat a symptom when we know how to solve the problem of improper waste management?

Garbage Problems Hurt Humans and Animals

Conflicts between human and animal needs—which are equally important—should be resolved peacefully, and in the case of trash, that means finding real solutions to clean it up. New York has long been known for its trash-collection shortcomings. Rotting, fetid trash strewn in the streets, on the subways, and in public parks makes residents miserable all on its own, and the rats it attracts are at risk of becoming stuck in garbage bags or being killed in cruel ways. This human-created situation is the issue, and no “war on rats” will solve it.

New York has launched its Clean Curbs Residential Pilot program, which installed locked curbside containers on one city block to store garbage and recycling bags between collection days, but that’s a far cry from meeting the needs of everyone in the city. Meanwhile, Adams wants to poison and otherwise kill rats in traps—no doubt this is part of the approach he wants his rat czar to take. But haphazardly scattering deadly poison all over a polluted city with a waste problem isn’t the solution.

Solving the Garbage Problem

Many major U.S. cities don’t manage trash in a modern or efficient way, leaving tidy residents and visitors out in the cold. The solution must focus on the human need for easy, effective, and available garbage disposal—otherwise, it’s bound to be a tremendous waste of taxpayer time and money. So how could the rat czar do that?

Not Just Bikes’ video “We Have No Garbage Day in Amsterdam!” highlights one potential solution for big cities: installing underground trash containers. They have the capacity to handle plenty of trash and are a sealed system—all in all, a great solution for any city trying to keep garbage out of sight, out of mind, and impossible for animals to get to.

Rat Czar: We Urge Peace

New York’s rats may have some hope yet: According to The Guardian, Corradi doesn’t like to describe herself as “bloodthirsty” or anything of the sort. That’s why PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has contacted Adams’ office, asking that it direct Corradi to attack the root of the problem by clearing New York’s dirty streets and parks of food bags and scraps discarded by human slobs—rather than skirting the problem, wasting time and money, and cruelly killing vulnerable animals.

No matter where you reside, you can learn to live in harmony with rats, mice, and other animals. Not only is humane rodent control possible, it’s ideal for everyone’s health.

How to Help Rodents

Right now, tens of millions of mice and rats are being used in painful, pointless experiments. Others endure excruciating deaths while stuck to deadly glue traps. In crowded breeding mills that supply small animals to pet stores, they’re denied water and adequate veterinary care. Together, we can help them:

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