NILE DELTA, EGYPT
Egypt has mounted a war of attrition against a plague of crop-devouring rats, some of them so ferocious that they attack livestock and babies.
NILE DELTA, EGYPT
1. CUs Rat in cage (2 shots) 0.15
2. GV Rat hopping across field 0.21
3. GV Men putting down rat poison pellets; CUs Pellets being laid (3 shots) 0.41
4. SVs & SCUs Farmers burning dead rats (4 shots) 1.07
5. GV & SCU Damage caused by rats to cabbages (3 shots) 1.22
6. SV ZOOM INTO CU Rat tunnel, and poison being laid 1.32
7. CU & SV Farmers showing rat-damaged corn (2 shots) 1.39
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Background: NILE DELTA, EGYPT
Egypt has mounted a war of attrition against a plague of crop-devouring rats, some of them so ferocious that they attack livestock and babies. The Ministries of Defence, Agriculture, Health and Information have pooled resources in a three-year campaign to stamp out the rats, now eating their way through the fertile croplands of the Nile Valley and its Delta. Government officials estimate that rats have destroyed crops worth one billion US dollars during the past 18 months. A member of parliament for the Delta region, Ahmed Fikky, said the area lost about 40 per cent of its wheat, cotton and rice to rats this year. About 70 per cent of Egyptian farmland is now under attack from rats which moved in from the Suez canal area when towns there became deserted as a result of the Israeli-Egyptian wars. A central operations room has been established to direct the campaign and to chart its progress. Governor Amin Mitkis of Sharqia Province said his administration last year killed 7.3 million rats. Mr. Mitkis warned that rats were learning to identify poisons and avoid them. he said rats in his region were becoming so fierce they attacked livestock and newly-born babies. Amina Hussein, a farmer's wife in Sharqia Province, says she left her baby on the floor for a few minutes and returned to find rats had eaten his fingers. Another farmer said rats attacked his rabbits and chickens.
Source: REUTERS - MOHAMAD FAHMY