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Jun 16, 2024  |  
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Asher Notheis, Breaking News Reporter


NextImg:Your friend the rat: Parisians advocate that rats are good for the city

Rats have earned a place in the hearts of many Parisians lately, as a growing number of residents of the City of Light are advocating for the lives of the critters.

Members of the animal rights organization Paris Animaux Zoopolis were recently spotted at the public square Place Saint-Sulpice, holding signs that read “Rats are not our enemies” and a picture of a rodent holding a sign that read “Free Kisses.” Amandine Sanvisens, co-founder of the organization, argued that younger people are more accepting of rats, the latter of which outnumber their human counterparts by at least 1.5 to 1, according to the New York Post.

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“They want to live their life, and we live ours,” sad Sanvisens. “We should learn to cohabit with them without a declaration of war.”

A rat looks on in the Saint Jacques Tower park, in the center of Paris, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)


The shift among younger people is likely due to fans of the 2007 Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille,” in which a French rat named Remy, skilled in the culinary arts, becomes friends with a human who lacks the culinary skills needed to become a chef, Sanvisens told the French newspaper, Le Figaro.

In July 2022, Paris council member Douchka Markovic argued rats were important to addressing the city’s waste issues, claiming they were "assets rather than problems for effectively maintaining the hygiene of large cities," according to the British newspaper the Times.

“We need to change the paradigm," said Markovic. "We should ask ourselves about the brown rats and their way of living, in order to find effective and ethical methods.”

A majority of Paris residents, at 61%. prefer nonlethal methods, like contraception, to control the rat population in the city, according to a 2020 study by the French Institute of Public Opinion.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

In 2022, Washington, D.C., was rated as the fourth most rat-infested city in Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List, which ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept. 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022. At top of the list was Chicago, Illinois, which has taken the top spot for eight years in a row. Chicago was followed by New York City, New York, and Los Angeles, California.

Gerard Brown, Washington, D.C., Department of Health’s program manager of rodent and vector control, believes the increasing number of rat infestations in the city is due partly to a change in routine from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more food waste coming from homes and apartment buildings, according to WUSA9.