Glasgow's rat population 'has become a public health crisis'

GMB Union, which represents the city's cleansing workers, said the issue has become a 'daily occurrence'.

Glasgow’s rat population has become a health hazard, according to the city’s cleansing workers.

GMB Union, which represents the city’s cleansing workers, said the issue has become a “daily occurrence”.

The issue is said to be having a “detrimental effect” on the mental health of cleansing workers, due to the health hazards posed by vermin.

Chris Mitchell from GMB Union said: “I’ve been raising this issue for a number of years now. Telling the council that it’s a daily occurrence. It’s having a detrimental effect on our members mental health and wellbeing. It’s becoming extremely dangerous.

“Two years ago, we had two members that are hospitalised because of rat bites and scratches. And you look at leptospirosis, Weil’s disease. It’s a new risk assessment, it can kill you.  

“So, this is becoming a public health crisis right across Glasgow.”

Chris Mitchell said the issue was impacting workers' mental health. STV News

It comes as part of Festival Park in Govan has been cordoned off due to a rodent infestation.

Warning signs declaring a potential risk to life are on display in the public park, with bait traps full of poison dotted along the fence in a bid to get the problem under control.

The council says it has stepped in after it became aware of a problem earlier in the month.

Glasgow City Council said the issue was due to “well-meaning” members of the public leaving food for local wildlife in beauty spots.

Warning signs have been erected at Festival Park in Glasgow.STV News

However it’s not the only area in Glasgow that has issues with rats.

Earlier this year, STV News reported about issues in Scoutston after cleansing workers refused to collect waste from Earl Street due to an infestation.

The problem escalated, leading the council to move the usual waste collection point from behind the street.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We became aware of issues with rats in Festival Park earlier this month and our teams have been responding to the situation.

“Unfortunately, well-meaning residents have been leaving out food for local wildlife and that has attracted rats into the park.

“We are removing this food as we find it and bait boxes have been stationed appropriately.

“Affected areas have been cordoned off to help minimise the risk to pets coming into the park.

“To ensure pest control treatments are as effective as possible, we urge people to stop leaving food for animals in the park.”

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