Rats gone from public sight at Bukit Batok

SINGAPORE - The rats infesting the area next to Bukit Batok MRT station have been largely removed from public sight.

The slope facing the station was devoid of the pests on Wednesday morning - a stark difference compared to the video posted on Facebook last Tuesday.

The Bukit Batok rat nest was brought to the spotlight when resident Mr Ryan Keith Smith posted a video of the rats scurrying around the slope.

48-year-old technician Madam Lin also called Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Wanbao's hotline regarding the rat activity, which she said had been going on daily for about a month.

Two days later, pest exterminators began a crusade against the rats, which is expected to last approximately three weeks.

Measures have been put in place in an attempt to curtail further rodent activities.

A sign was put up forbidding littering and the feeding of stray dogs, which was named as one of the possible reasons behind the infestation.

The gate leading to the back of the infested mound was also locked with a new padlock.

In The Straits Times report on Dec 24, the public have been urged to stop feeding stray dogs by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). They said that a core group of dog feeders have been taking care of those strays.

SPCA executive director Corinne Fong told The Straits Times that "the six to eight core feeders have worked with the Jurong Town Council since July last year to feed, trap, neuter and re-home the stray dogs".

Animal welfare groups said, in The Straits Times report, that "a group of indiscriminate feeders they say are to blame for befouling the area with leftover food".

However, when AsiaOne visited the area this morning, it was found that conditions ideal for the rats to thrive still exist.

For instance, there were many open dumpsters in the vicinity - birds were pecking brazenly at the trash bags within.

A cleaner at the Bukit Batok MRT station said that while he never saw the rats himself, he noted that the problem would have to be significant to warrant the army of exterminators he saw over the past week.

Yesterday, a video surfaced on Facebook which showed stray puppies eating the rats. It was claimed that the strays were helping with the pest control rather than contributing to the problem.


Jason Soh is an intern with AsiaOne.