Of course it was quite good of the BBC to allow for comments, and once I found some time I wrote the following:
A delineation of wild/feral rats versus pet fancy rats would be a nice start, but given that distinction was not made some of the statements in the article strike more as opinion versus fact.
Wild rats may live in conditions that are generally considered to be unclean, but they also spend nearly one-third of their waking moments cleaning and grooming themselves … a strikingly greater amount of time than most domesticated mammals, such as humans.
Rats are quite industrious when it comes to survival. Wild rats are well adapted to living in close proximity to human habitats as they are well aware of the much easier access to sustenance than foraging in fields.
Proper disposal of refuse in more effective containers would help reduce the amount of unwanted visitors one can expect, but to relegate all the interlopers to the rat family is a little preposterous as there are many animals that would happily feed on the quality remains most people throw away that others in more impoverished countries would only dream of savoring.
The point of Leptospirosis is a hard one to take at face value as most consider this a rare condition to contract with an average of only 20% of feral rats even carrying the infection; that also depending on geographical location. Weil’s disease (a form of Leptospirosis) being an even more rare condition.
“Rattus norvegicus – is a disgusting animal.” An opinion I would suggest that greatly impugns the reputation of rats; and, I would also suspect in contrast to The National Rat Fancy Society, long standing proponents of fancy rats in the UK.
I am a fancy pet rat keeper and believe the rat, as a pet, is one of the finest animals to be graced with. My opinion but one only meant to share as an interest not opinions to create a maligned image.
Perhaps a bit long winded, but there were so many points to be addressed.
© 2009, Mr.Rattitude. All rights reserved.