• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Rome rat crisis: leaders vow hefty fines for litter louts
Rome's council has introduced new measures to combat the city's rodent problem. Photo: Jens Canon/Flickr

Rome rat crisis: leaders vow hefty fines for litter louts

The Local · 4 Feb 2016, 14:52

Published: 04 Feb 2016 12:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2016 14:52 GMT+01:00

Rome's rats have been terrorising residents for years, even making the famous Trevi Fountain their home last summer as the monument underwent a makeover.

But despite an expensive clean-up in 2013, the rat population has swelled in parts of Rome, outnumbering the human population by two to one.

The epidemic has become so bad in recent months, thanks to a mild winter alongside rubbish-strewn streets in parts of the capital, that residents are calling it an "invasion". 

Authorities are now hoping to crackdown on the vermin with a range of measures, including fining anyone caught dumping their food waste on the streets and targetting rat hubs such as schools and restaurants, Il Messaggero reported. 

A commission headed by Rome's interim mayor, Francesco Paolo Tronca, has declared the existing anti-rat measures "ineffective" and will meet on Thursday afternoon to mull the proposals.

The aim is to create a preventative plan rather than an “episodic one” to what has been dubbed by Italian media as Rome’s “rat emergency”.

Rubbish, particularly food waste, is a feast for rodents. To raise awareness of the crisis, the citizen's protection organization, Assotutela, published a video showing dozens of rats "invading" the area near St Peter's, rummaging in bins for food.

READ MORE:  Rome's rat epidemic will creep you out

Story continues below…

In recent years, the council has worked with waste collection companies to eliminate rats in certain oreas of the city, but only when citizens have reported the problem. Some 1,700 interventions were made in this way between April and December 2015, but the commission has described this tactic as ineffective because it does not target the problem in the city as a whole, and the rats continue to thrive.

 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Euro 2016
Pirlo and Balotelli missing as Conte finetunes Italy squad
Antonio Conte has cut cut several Euro 2016 hopefuls from a preliminary squad. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell/AFP

It now looks certain that neither Andrea Pirlo or Mario Balotelli will feature at Euro 2016.

Cheesed-off Italy seeks damages over US soap opera gag
Producers of Grana Padano cheese have filed a complaint against the US soap opera, 'The Bold and the Beautiful'. Photo: Annabelle Orozco/Flickr

Grana Padano producers were cheesed off with the gag which was broadcast to hundreds of millions of people.

These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
Sabaudia. Photo: Dorli Photography

You don’t need to venture far to find some good beaches near Rome. And they're cheap to get to!

Fury as mayor hopeful vows to give road fascist's name
Rome mayor candidate, Giorgia Meloni, has promised to name a Roman road after a noted fascist if she is elected. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The comments have angered Rome's Jewish community.

Rampaging fans stab two in bar brawl after Italian Cup final
Two people were stabbed in Rome after the Italian Cup final on Saturday. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The incident happened following Juventus' 1-0 victory over Milan in Rome on Saturday.

Hearing on Italian marine's return home set for May 26th
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) pictured in Kochi, India, in December 2012. Photo: Strdel/AFP

India’s Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Salvatore Girone's case on May 26th, the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Azhar imam to urge tolerance in historic pope meeting
Monday's meeting will be the first between the leader of the world's Catholics and one of Islam's most important clerics. Photo: AFP

The deputy of Al-Azhar's grand imam in Egypt said on Sunday the top Muslim cleric will bear a message of tolerance when he meets Pope Francis in Rome.

Milan boss fears sack after Italian Cup defeat to Juventus
AC Milan's coach Cristian Bronchi during yesterday's Italian Cup final. Photo: AFP

AC Milan coach Cristian Brocchi admits his job is on the line after an Italian Cup final defeat by Juventus ended the Serie A giants’ hopes of European football next season.

Brexit
Brits have until June 7th to apply for Brexit proxy vote
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

British expats who have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years have until Tuesday June 7th to apply for a proxy vote in the EU referendum.

Italy deports couple after terrorism probe
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano issued the deportation orders on Friday. Photo: AFP

A couple whose son was killed fighting for Isis in Syria are to be deported from Italy.

Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
Culture
7 breathtaking alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Politics
Long-term Brit in Italy barred from EU vote vows to fight on
Health
Why Italian merry widows perk up after husbands die
2,523
jobs available