Sunday, 11 January 2015

Rats from Bishan to Batok to Hotpot Culture

Look who decided to take the train from Bishan MRT station

There was an unusual sight to behold at Bishan MRT two days ago as a rat entered the station via the gantry in the afternoon.

Stomper BishanKing said that his brother spotted the rat. He said:
  • “After the Bukit Batok rat infestation incident, my brother happened to see another rat at Bishan MRT.
  • “Is Singapore under the attack of rats, area by area?”
The rat had ran from the gantry into the station, which can be seen in the gallery down below.

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So this is why Stomper's pet bird has been acting strangely
 Look who its new friend is!

Stomper Ben was surprised to discover this morning that his pet Long Tailed Shama had a new friend, a rat.

The Stomper noticed that his pet had been behaving strangely the past few days, and its food and water were finished faster than expected.

Said Stomper Ben:
  • "This morning, I finally saw my pet's new friend in its cage!
  • "When I switch on the lights, the rat will go away."
You'll shriek after you find out what was hiding in this exhaust pipe
Pest controllers monitoring area near Bt Batok MRT with 20 infrared cameras
Rats gone at Bukit Batok: New sign prohibit littering & feeding stray dogs
Stray dogs seen eating rats at Bukit Batok before pest control stepped in
Look who decided to take the train from Bishan MRT station
22 men mobilised to get rids of rats at Bukit Batok: Watch them in action
What's on this grass patch near Bukit Batok MRT will make you recoil in horror
Eeks! Rat spotted scurrying around tables at restaurant in shopping mall
Rats running rampant in Bugis shopping mall, says shop-owner
Shopper disgusted by large rat ard Bangkit Rd supermarket's seafood section
Chaos as passengers get trapped with a rat on NYC subway
So this is why Stomper's pet bird has been acting strangely
Increased rat & dog population in Bt Batok threaten health & safety of residents
Rat scurrying around fast food joint in Jurong startles customer
Staff try to fight off rat with brooms at ramen store in Nex shopping mall
Frightened rat remains perched on MRT train's handlebar
Rat running across basement of Orchard Rd complex shocks shoppers there
Rat feasts on corn in plain sight at Hougang supermarket


I would like to complain about the serious rats infestation problem in Bukit Panjang. I have complain to the Bukit Panjang head Dr Teo Ho Pin but got a respond from his assistant that they will look into the matter.

However it has been a few months and there is no further updates from them and the rats infestation is just getting from bad to worse! I send another email complaining to them and this time I didn't even get a response from them after a week. The rats are running everywhere at night below my void deck and I am afraid that my children will get bitten by the rats as these rats are very dirty and spread all kinds of diseases.

To let your readers know the seriousness of the problem, I talked to some of my neighbours and all of them told me that there are rats infesting every floor of the HDB block they are living in. It seems there is a huge network of rats on the entire HDB building.

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Rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT

A rat infestation has been spotted in the vicinity of Bukit Batok MRT station. Simulation system operator Ryan Keith, 33, is a longtime Bukit Batok resident, and recorded a video of the rat infestation on Tuesday evening (Dec 16), at the hill just beside the train station.

"I was there for about 10 minutes and I think I saw more than 50 rats," he told Channel NewsAsia. "This spot is near to many eateries, and rats can breed very quickly and bite through wires, so I am quite concerned."

He said he has approached the National Environment Agency (NEA) about the problem, and they told him that "they will look into it".

related: Rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT

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The rat situation at Bukit Batok has been discovered to be much worse than originally thought

The pest controllers handling the situation explained that there has been some bad weather which has also delayed their progress. They also said that they are seeing lots of new food scraps being left around which can attract even more rodents.

Extermination operations have been going on for about three days now and over 140 rats have been caught and killed.

While efforts started at the hill beside Bukit Batok MRT station, the pest controllers have also discovered that the rats are also living further inside the forested area behind.

Animal Welfare Groups: Gov Unfairly Blame Dogs for Rat Infestation in Jurong GRC
HDB Blames Rat Infestation at Bukit Batok on People Feeding Stray Dogs
HDB Deploys Pest Controllers to Handle Rat Infestation at Bt Batok After Viral Vid
Hundreds of Rats Spotted near Bukit Batok MRT
PAP’s Core Value: Greed

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The Bukit Batok rat infestation: What you need to know

It is always a concern when rats live close to centres of human habitation, and the colony at Bukit Batok could have serious implications for the people living and working in the area. Rats can carry a variety of different disease causing agents, and these can be transmitted from the rats to humans.

Rats are associated with the transmission of several important infections in humans, including leptospirosis and plague. In South Korea, during the 1970s, the Hanta virus was identified as the causative agent of Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, and this virus was passed into the human population via rodent urine and faeces. Therefore, transmission of these disease-causing agents to humans can occur by indirect contact with the rats, such as through rodent faeces and urine.

Being near a MRT station may increase the risk of the spread of infectious agents, since there is a risk that rats can enter the MRT system. This could potentially allow the flow of infected material (e.g. aerosols from infected rat urine) through the MRT underground tunnels, which could have consequences for people living outside the immediate area.

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Stray dogs seen eating rats at Bukit Batok
Dog lovers have rebutted authorities, saying that the recent rats infestation near Bukit Batok MRT station was not caused by feeding stray dogs

In a joint statement released on Thursday by the Housing Development Board (HDB), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), and Jurong Town Council, it was suggested that the infestation was caused leftover food after feeding the strays in the area.

A Stomp reader alerted the citizen journalism website to a video posted by Facebook user Karen Koh, in which stray puppies were seen feasting on the rats.

The Facebook description pleads the case for the strays, saying that they have barely enough food to eat and have always finished what they were given.

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I was curious after the news of the rat infestation at bukit batok so i decided to take a look for myself.

I went to the Bukit Batok hill area. What is this area notorious for rats infestation anyway? I went and explored the area to find out what the place is like on the 24th Dec Christmas Eve. Hope you might find these photos and experience useful.

Top left 2 pics: I remember my proffessor used to compliment the Singapore army training ground as the best undisturbed place for great biodiversity. Plants and lives flourish with ample supply of resources (and puddles of water for mosquito infestation as well). I found plenty of stagnant water at bukit batok hill too.

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Squeak, squeak, squeak. That's the familiar sound of a rat infestation. It's true

Singapore has rat infestation and it is not going to get better. There are going to be more rats if there is going to be more people in Singapore, as evidenced by the recently released whitepaper on population policy whereby the Government has raised the population target from 6.5M to 6.9M and our rodent friends are concerned.

One whispered to my ear a cautionary tale, "Squeak, squeal, squeak." I am not very good in RatSpeak but I tried my best to communicate, "Huh? Squeak, squeak, squeak?" Then it dawned on me what my rodent friend was trying to convey. He was trying to bring my attention to a population study carried out by John Calhoun at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the late 1940s.

Rats sniffing each other's butt, just like how we smell each other's armpit in the packed MRT train. John built a one-thousand square-metres pen called Rat City. At the beginning, it was seeded with five pregnant mice. The pen was sufficiently big enough to accommodate up to five thousand rats but for two years he watched and found that the rat population levelled off at one hundred and fifty, no where near the five-thousand limit despite the lack of predators and that John kept Rat City clean, provided bedding and plenty of food. So what happened?

Hundreds of Rats Spotted near Bukit Batok MRT
Pest Controllers have Killed 230 Rats at Bukit Batok
Rats concerned with Singapore 6.9M Population Target
Dear TRS, there is a serious rats infestation problem in Bukit Panjang
Dr Tan Cheng Bock: Rats, Food and MRT Stations
HDB Spent $120,000 of Taxpayer Money to Kill 230 Rats
Rats in Charge
Desmond Lee Attacks WP but Disappears over Rats Infestation
The Rat Race Situational Report
Pest Controllers: The Rat Infestation at Bt Batok is Worse than we Thought
Dr Vivian, Fix this Rat Problem Instead of Fixing WP
AVA Threatens Dog Feeders Saying They could be Committing an Offence
The Population Debate: What are we bequeathing to our children?
A Thought from Tan Cheng Bock’s Talk on Rat Infestation
HDB Deploys Pest Controllers to Handle Rat Infestation at Bukit Batok
PAP MP: The Best Solution to the Rat Problem is to Stop Feeding Strays

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In fact, other than the rat infestation, the ruling elites have not been taking responsibility like cowards. The whole world knows that they have no accountability. Am I right? We have never heard of the need to slow down the train speed while changing railway sleepers in any other parts of the world. Do you remember the scandal of “rotten sleeper”? Because easily rotten and substandard materials were chosen, not only the sleepers have to be replaced earlier than schedule, and the train speed has to be slow downed in order to avoid unexpected problems arising out of any of the unchanged rotten sleepers. They called the slowdown in train speed a “preventive measure”.

The question is, who will pay for the bills of sleeper changing? The government or the tax payers as usual? As a “preventive measure”, those food shops inside the MRT stations should all be closed down.

Am I right? Anyway, all these non-core earnings of SMRT and SBS are not peg to the fares they charge, they have never thought of benefiting the people with such non-core business profits. Therefore, we would like to see all the food shops closed down. Let all these blood sucking “rats” and loophole digging “rats” go to hell.

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Rats thrive on food waste so they tend to nest close to these outlets. They bred fast and grind their teeth on firm materials including our underground cables leading to short circuits and train disruptions in future.

There are so many ways to manage this. The most important is to deprive them food. Thus we citizens must understand this and and discard food waste properly at home and at food establishments including hawker centres and markets… Also feeding of stray animals must be responsibly done by picking up any left overs and nothing is left behind for the rats to feed on.. Policy on how far the buffer zone between food shops and stations must be reviewed.

It is a question of nipping the problem early or suffer the consequences of rat illness like leptospirosis and potential train disruptions in future.

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Dr Vivan Balakrishnan, the Minister of Environment and Water Resources, has recently been busy fixing the WP

However, there are many other, more pressing issues which should be addressed by him. One of the more pressing issues is the problem of rats in our eateries.

There are a growing number of eateries around Singapore which are facing pest problems with a large number of rats seen scurrying around after all the shops close.

Tiong Bahru, a 77-year old estate, has been reported to have a major rat problem. Over the last six months, rodents are even seen running around in daylight.

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Where PAP member of parliament (MP) and Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee was very fervent in keeping up with his attacks on the Worker's Party (WP), his sudden disappearance with the rat infestation problem and illegal dormitories has only become more glaring

Yesterday, it was reported that some workshops in the flatted factories in the Tampines Industrial Park have been illegally converted into dormitories and housed thousands of foreign workers.

It was also discovered that these factories are also owned and managed by the Housing & Development Board (HDB).

However, questions have been asked as to why the HDB has turned a blind eye to it and allow the poor living conditions to thrive at the factories for years now. Mr Lee's ministry oversees the HDB.

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What kind of signals is the Transport Minister sending when he rewards the train operator – with an ex-army officer in charge – who can’t even secure his premises from intrusion by marauding graffiti artists? And now we hear the vicinity of Bukit Batok MRT station is invaded by a colony of marauding rodents. They can’t even maintain a clean backyard.

There’s nothing wrong with their balance sheet though, and they are not about to trim some of the profits to improve the system. Maybe they are waiting for the rats to board the trains. The rats in parliament will do anything to improve ridership figures. And that has to be the reason why chairman of the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) Liu Thai Ker is saying the little red dot can accommodate 10 million people.

Pressed to name the challenges that Singapore will face with a 10-million population, Liu shoot back: “Don’t try to immediately picture the worst scenario. Can you use your imagination to picture a nicer scenario?” That picture of the rat nest has to be the tip of the iceberg.

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Bukit Batok declared 'rat free' by pest busters after three-week operation 
Pest controllers removing a rat carcass near Bukit Batok MRT station last month. Pest busters attacked rat nests and burrows, then monitored the area to ensure survivors did not get away. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The nightmare is over for Bukit Batok residents with pest controllers declaring the area rat free after killing more than 300 rats over two weeks.

There was no physical evidence of rats in the area by the third week of the operation, based on human assessments in the day and infrared camera recordings at night, said Mr Bernard Chan, manager of Star Pest Control.

Mr Chan said that his team concluded the extermination process yesterday. The rat infestation first came to light last month after Bukit Batok resident Ryan Keith Smith, 33, took videos and pictures of the rodents and posted them online.

related: Rats run wild in broad daylight near Bukit Batok MRT station

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Bukit Batok declared 'rat free'

More than 230 rats were killed in the first seven days by about 30 pest controllers who scoured the hilly area, about the size of a football field.

The next two weeks were spent monitoring and locating the survivors to ensure that they do not migrate to other areas. This involved the use of infrared cameras to monitor rat activity at night.

Pest controllers also conducted surveillance with binoculars from vantage points such as multi-storey carparks.

Complaints of rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT station
22-man team battles Bukit Batok rat infestation
Stray dogs seen eating rats at Bukit Batok
Stray dogs not responsible for Bukit Batok rat infestation: SPCA
10-man team nab dozens of rats in Bukit Batok operation
Bukit Batok declared 'rat free'
Pest controllers need three weeks to end Bt Batok rat problem 
Rats gone from public sight at Bukit Batok
Mound behind Bukit Batok MRT station a playground for rats
NEA to sniff out causes of rat behaviour
Rat issue: Pest controllers monitoring area with 20 infrared cameras
Rats! Fell for these traps
Rats' boom town,
Don't blame stray dogs for the rats: SPCA

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It was reported by the Chinese media here that the total cost of the pest control operations at Bukit Batok hill was over $120,000.

This was reportedly paid for by HDB after a video of dozens of rats scurrying around the hill in broad daylight went viral online. This amount comes from taxpayer money given to HDB through government grants and budget. When considering that currently about 230 rats have been caught and the pest busters claim that they have seen a drastic reduction in rat activity in the area, it means that HDB spent about $522 to kill each rat.

Do you think it should costs this much to kill a rat?

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Restaurant with rat in one of its dishes, to suspend its operations immediately
Spot anything special in the dish above?
Well, Caron Chan posted the images on her facebook account of what seems to be a rat carcass in a dish at Hotpot Culture, Marine square when she and her colleagues went for lunch at the restaurant

Chan wrote in her facebook post, “Spot the #RAT in the vegetable dish. Taken at Hotpot Culture at Marina Square for the $8.80 porridge buffet with my colleagues for lunch. It was “Business-as-usual” right after removing the dish tray. Enough said.”

According to her, a colleague had spotted what she thought was a rat’s tail in a vegetable dish. In her facebook post, Chan said that they were relieved that they have not started eating before one of her colleagues spotted the tail of a rat in one of the dish.

After discovering the tail, Chan scooped out the rest of the “body” and confirmed it to be a whole rat carcass. She then approached a staff member to inform them about their finding. But instead of clearing all the dishes, only the dish containing the rat carcass was removed.

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Hot Pot Culture suspended after rat found in porridge dish: NEA
NEA suspends Hotpot Culture Restaurant, investigating rat issue

The National Environment Authority (NEA) has suspended Hotpot Culture Restaurant after a rat carcass was allegedly found in one of its dishes.

"The restaurant has been instructed to suspend its operations immediately while NEA conducts its investigations," said its spokesman in a media statement to Yahoo Singapore.

What was supposed to be a value-for-money porridge buffet for a group of colleagues turned into a stomach churning experience after a customer allegedly spotted a dead rat in one of the restaurant’s free-flow dishes.

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Rat in eatery's dish; buffet continues
NEA suspends restaurant after report of dead rat in buffet
Hotpot Culture suspended by NEA after rat carcass found in its dish
Restaurant with rat in one of its dishes, to suspend its operations immediately
Restaurant where rat found in buffet tray suspended by NEA
Rat found in salted vegetables at Marina Square Chinese restaurant
NEA suspends buffet restaurant after rat carcass was found in dish
Rat in buffet dish at Marina Square shop
Hot Pot Culture suspended after rat found in porridge dish: NEA