Residents say their Surrey neighbourhood is overrun by rats

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RATS

Surrey is full of rats. Or, at least that’s how it seems to some residents in Newton, who are increasingly frustrated with the growing rodent population.

Dan Goy told The Province he has filed complaints with Fraser Health in response to the rampant rat problem in his community, and he has even set up traps to catch the critters, and urged his dogs to nab the rodents, too.

Goy believes the problem stems back to several weeks ago when he spotted a resident providing the rats with plenty to eat; he describes having seen a neighbour “heaving food out the window,” to the animals. While some of his neighbours have approached the resident they believe is feeding the rats, Goy told CBC’s On The Coast Wednesday he had not personally confronted the resident about the matter.

The rats have been spotted during the daytime, “running all over front lawns in the neighbourhood,” and prompting people to stop to take photos of the unusual activity.

The rat infestation has revealed a gap between the power of local authorities; while Fraser Health is responsible for responding to complaints, they are limited in their powers by the City of Surrey’s bylaw about animal infestations.

Tasleem Juma from Fraser Health told The Province they dispatched a health officer to the home in question and informed the occupant that feeding the animals was problematic, but that Surrey does not provide for their agency to intervene in such a case.

Jaspreet Rehal, Surrey’s Manager of Bylaws & Licensing Service, acknowledges the bylaw in question needs an update, and hopes to accomplish that by this fall.

Rehal told Vancity Buzz via email the City is discussing the matter with Fraser Health and looking into options to address the immediate infestation issue.

What can Surrey residents do to ensure they do not attract rodents to their homes? Rehal said: “We ask all residents to keep their properties clean and secure their garbage, in addition we ask them to not feed wildlife.”

Featured image: Matthieu Aubry./Flickr

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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