Paris, city of love, told to embrace rats
Rats have feelings too, and you should learn to love them, Parisian commuters have been told by an advertising campaign in a city where authorities are waging war to exterminate the four-million-strong rodent population.
“Stop the massacre of rats,” is the slogan on posters on the walls of dozens of metro stations.
The posters feature pictures of cute rats and declare that rodents “are sensitive individuals” that can “feel emotions”.
The campaign was launched by Paris Animaux Zoopolis, an animal rights group that aims to defend all animals whether humans like them or not.
The more visible presence of rats, caused by flooding and infrastructure works, first came to public attention in late 2016, with Parisians saying they could no longer frequent many city parks because of marauding rodents.
Authorities reacted by closing off a string of parks and gardens, laying “environmentally friendly” traps and poisons and blocking off sewer entrances.
Philippe Reigne, the secretary of Paris Animaux Zoopolis, said the campaign to laud the merits of the muchmaligned rodent may be a world first.
“It is a political message which targets the Paris city hall, the prefecture of police, and the exterminators [of rats],” he said. “Rats should not be seen as synonymous with filth.”
Paris is home to 4 million rats.