alberta rat free

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

Christine Lynch

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