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29 June 2012

Giant rats are back in Goodna



Keiron Butler with his rat bait at his Goodna home.
He spends $12 a week on baits to try and keep the rodents at bay.

Giant rats "the size of bandicoots" are back in Goodna.

After the floods last year a plague of rats engulfed the suburb with the Brisbane City Council sending in fox terriers to eradicate them.

At the time Goodna resident and greyhound trainer Keiron Butler raised the alarm that the oversized rodents were on the rampage.

But they were not given the knock-out blow.

"We've still got a plague of them. They are as big as bandicoots," Mr Butler said.

"They come up from the river. They are looking for warm places and there is no-one living in some of the houses here so rats live there. The landlords should be made to put out baits to solve this problem.

"We are trying our best to bait them. I am going through two packets a week which is eight square blocks. All up, I am going through an average of $12 a week in baits which is a bit of money for a pensioner.

"We used to get bandicoots on the rail line when the old trains were there but now they keep it clean so we don't get them.

"At first I thought the rats were bandicoots, they are that big. We've just got to keep baiting them. I suggest that everyone in the area keeps doing that because they carry a lot of disease and vermin."

Mr Butler showed the QT the large bait blocks he sets in traps. The rats eat them whole and keep coming back for more.

The trainer is concerned for his dogs, which chase the rats but he is worried if they catch them the baits will harm them.

Councillor Paul Tully has fielded calls from residents concerned about the ravenous rodents and said they were "a health issue".

"With the colder weather they are seeking refuge in and around people's houses," he said.

"We still have overgrown properties with absentee landlords. We've also got the river bank, the creek bank and the railway through the middle of Goodna.

"There are a lot of vegetation areas where these bloody rats can live... and the big bastards are back. Brisbane (City Council) lent us their rat-catching dogs last year which put a dent in the population, but they are just very hard to eradicate."


29.6.12


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