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Animal advocates ask Adams to 'show kindness and respect' to rats in New York


Alina Prikhodko

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There has been an increase in the number of diseasesspread by rat urine. City Hall is looking for ways to clean up the city from rodents, but as reported Fox News, animal activists are unhappy with Adams' policies.

New York City health officials said there have been at least 2023 cases of the disease spread by rat urine in the city so far in 24. Rodents often scurry through subways and rummage through trash on the streets of New York, posing a public health hazard.

However, the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) does not think so. They criticized the mayor of New York for hating the rats that regularly run through the subway system and take over buildings in the city.

Adams “could clearly use a lesson in showing kindness and respect to all New Yorkers,” PETA wrote. The group will send Adams an “Empathy Development Kit,” which “offers a step-by-step guide to developing compassion,” as well as a “Rats Have Rights” mug.

The mayor's office downplayed PETA's insistence and said the city's residents, not its rodents, remained its top priority. “Every New Yorker hates rats,” said a City Hall spokesman. “They are dirty, sick and degrade our quality of life. They also pose a health risk to all New Yorkers.”

Incidence rate

In 2023, 24 cases of the disease were registered, which was the highest number in recent years. Last month, New York City health officials issued a warning about an increase in transmissible bacterial diseases spread by rat urine.

On the subject: The guy gives tours of the most ratty places in New York: they are popular

There are currently six cases of leptospirosis reported in New York. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, difficulty breathing and, in extreme cases, death, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Homeless people or people living in shelters or other institutions are at greater risk of contracting the disease, the symptoms of which can be mistaken for other illnesses, the CDC says. From 2001 to 2023, the Bronx had the most cases with 37, while Manhattan had the most cases with 28. During the same time period, six deaths were reported.

Mission: clean up the city

Given the potential health threat posed by rats, the city has been waging a “war on rats” for 13 months to ultimately make progress and rid the city of these nasty rodents, a city spokesman said. “While we hope to use methods that do not cause additional suffering, our priority remains the city's residents, not its rodents.”

“Instead of harassing rats, Mayor Adams should focus on clearing New York's streets of the massive piles of trash that attract them in the first place,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA calls on Adams to stop blaming rats for a problem that humans created and approach this issue with respect and understanding.”

New York City officials said they have been paying particular attention to the trash problem over the past 13 months. “New Yorkers know all too well that rats are not just a nuisance, they can make a home uninhabitable,” said Adolfo Carrion Jr., Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The mayor's office said the number of rat sightings reported to 311 has dropped since the administration began its Garbage Revolution program. The overall decline during the period under review was 6,3%, and in urban rat control zones it was almost 14%.

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