Rat Population

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th January 2007.

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Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the rat population in England and Wales.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

The most recent estimate of the common rat ( Rattus norvegicus) population in England and Wales was a minimum of 5,240,000 individuals in England and 680,000 in Wales. These figures were established by a review that assessed the population and conservation status of all British mammals, published in 1995 and is also quoted in the UK Mammals Species Status and Population Trends report by the Tracking Mammals Partnership in 2005. A copy of the report can be found at the following weblink:

http://www.jncc.gov.uk/pdf/pub05_ukmammals _speciesstatusText_final.pdf

The only recent objective national survey of rat presence in England is within the English House Condition Survey (EHCS). The 2001 survey revealed that 0.3 per cent. of properties had rats indoors and 2.9 per cent. had rats present outside. A copy of the report can be found at the following weblink:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/reports/English-house-survey-rodent-report.pdf

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