• 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
Italy dump Spain out of Euro 2016 with 2-0 win
Graziano Pelle scored the second goal. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle scored the goals as Italy exacted revenge for their Euro 2012 final hammering by dumping Spain out of Euro 2016 with a deserved 2-0 last 16 win in Paris on Monday.

British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
Photos: AFP

British business owners in Italy are rightly feeling jittery over Brexit.

Unseen papers of Mussolini's last meeting go to auction
Papers revealing the minuites of Mussolini's last meeting are set to go under the hammer in Italy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The never-before-seen papers are expected to fetch upwards of €25,000.

Brexit
EU must act quickly due to 'gravity' of Brexit: Renzi
Italian prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the EU to act swiftly following the UK's vote to leave the EU. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

"The last thing Europe needs is to start a year-long discussion on (the negotiation) procedures."

Ancient Roman fugitives' bones found in Pompeii shop
The four skeletons died in AD 79. Photo: Archaeological site of Pompeii

The skeletons belong to ancient Romans who died while fleeing the volcanic eruption which destroyed the city.

Brexit
Italy: Heed Brexit wake-up call and end austerity
Premier Matteo Renzi said his demand for greater flexibility on the bloc's budget rules had been made more urgent. Photo: Thierry Charler/AFP

"Austerity policies are clouding the horizon. They have turned the future into a threat. They have given fear a push."

Refugee crisis
More than 3,300 migrants rescued off Libya
Over 10,000 migrants have been rescued since Thursday. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

More than 10,000 migrants have been saved since Thursday.

Milan-bound flight catches fire upon emergency landing
The Singapore Airlines aircraft, its starboard wing charred from an engine fire, is towed across the tarmac at Changi airport. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP

A Singapore Airlines plane caught fire on Monday while making an emergency landing at Changi Airport after turning back from a flight to Milan following an engine oil warning message, the carrier said.

Italy hails mafia killer's arrest as historic
Fazzalari was convicted in absentia in 1999 of mafia association, kidnapping, illegal possession of weapons and a double homicide. Photo: Italian police

A convicted killer who was one of Italy's most wanted mafia bosses was arrested Sunday in an operation hailed by prosecutors as a historic breakthrough in the fight against organised crime.

Pope visits Armenian genocide memorial
Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the Tsitsernakaberd site. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a rallying cry to protect memory at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, on day two of a trip likely to stir tensions with Turkey.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,526
jobs available