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Blackburn bird lovers are feeding rising number of rats
KIND-HEARTED residents in central Blackburn have been urged to stop throwing bread, rice, chappatis and other cereal foods into their yards and alleys for the birds because of a growing infestation of vermin.
Bastwell ward councillors Parwaiz Aktar, Shaukat Hussain and Iftikhar Hussain want householders to use proper bird feeders rather than just put unused food on the ground for their feathered friends.
Coun Iftikhar Hussain said: “We have a real problem with fly-tipping of rubbish in the area which encourages vermin.
“A new problem that is making it worse is people throwing food for the birds — especially bread, cereals, chappatis and rice — into their yards, back alleys and gardens which is attracting rats.
“This seems to be a particular problem with our Asian community. Traditionally they don’t want to waste food but is causing a real problem with rats and other vermin which is a public health issue.”
Coun Aktar said: “We know people are doing it for the best motives but it could have really damaging consequences.
“They want to avoid waste and feed the birds and other animals but all they are doing is encouraging rats. If they want to feed the birds the best thing is if they use proper bird feeders and keep the bread, chappatis, etc, off the ground.”
Coun Shaukat Hussain said: “We appeal to local residents to be careful about throwing food out for the birds.
“It is cultural tradition in our Asian community not to waste food and to look after wildlife but this is helping the rats not the birds.
“If they put food out, could people please keep an eye on it and remove it if they don’t eat it before the rats come and do so.”
The three councillors also asked people to be vigilant in looking out for fly-tippers and report any rubbish dumping to Blackburn with Darwen Council officials.
Coun Hussain said: “We are also having real problems with people coming and dumping rubbish in people’s back yards and alleys.
“This is happening a lot with building waste and large items such as old mattresses and sofas.”
Coun Aktar said: “If anyone sees this happening they should contact the council so those responsible can be prosecuted and fined.”
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