Alberta has been rat free for over 50 years and here's how
In case you haven't heard, Alberta's been rat free for 70 years now — and the provincial government employs a full-time Rat Patrol team to keep it that way.
Since 1950, Alberta has been waging a full-scale war on rats to protect crops and livestock from being destroyed by the pests.
Tracking powder, arsenic, and ominous propaganda posters emblazoned with the words "kill him!" were just some of the early measures taken by the Alberta government to eradicate rats.
Eternal vigilance the key to being rat free in #Alberta. https://t.co/Ozp4Gvl03E pic.twitter.com/TANQBvBvKG— AB Farmer Express (@ABFarmerExpress) February 13, 2020
Today, a Rat Patrol supervises the Alberta-Sasketchewan border, roaming the area to ensure that no furry critters sneak into the province undetected.
Mysteriously, the Alberta Rat Patrol doesn't actually have a website or any social media accounts — but every Albertan knows the organization exists.
Mapped effectiveness of the Alberta 'Rat Patrol'. Never once saw a rat growing up. https://t.co/LKiPxKl6hJ— Joanna Merson (@JoannaMerson) August 22, 2018
Although well-meaning teachers have transported rats into Alberta over the years, the animals were quickly disposed of, since it's actually illegal to bring a rat into the province.
Only zoos, universities, and pre-approved research institutions can lawfully possess rats.
I'd love a rat zoo. As rats aren't allowed in Alberta, zoos literally have them here.— Ira 🦇 (@mousewings) March 16, 2017
Any Albertan who spots a rat must immediately dial the province's hotline — "310-RATS" — and report the incident to authorities.
The rat will then be "dealt with" by the patrol.
Alberta really does have a rat hotline - "310 RATS". Lived in Alberta until my late 20s. Had never seen a rat until I moved to BC. Thread👇👇 https://t.co/bieElL1qpk— Darlene Heidemann (@DarHeidemann) January 7, 2020
According to the government's website, any rat sightings in Calgary or Edmonton should be met with "full media coverage."
Local media outlets are also encouraged to report on Alberta's rat patrol three or four times a year to remind Albertans to stay vigilant and "guard against complacency."
It looks like so far, Alberta is winning the war.
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