Jakarta launches massive rodent hunt offering £1.20 per rat captured

Officials ask residents not to use guns pursuit of rats, as other citizens could be hit by stray bullets

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The Independent Online

Indonesia's capital has launched a city-wide rat hunt offering £1.20 for each one caught.

Authorities in Jakarta are hoping their 'Rat Eradication Movement' will help rid the city of rats living on rubbish dumps in slum areas.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat has claimed he came up with the campaign after a recent encounter with a large rat.

He has asked those interested not to use guns as people could be hurt by stray bullets, AFP reports.

Deputy Governor Hidayat said: "There are many rats here, and big ones. For each rat, we will pay 20,000 rupiah (£1.20)."

"If possible, please do not use guns. If you miss your shot, the bullets could hit other people."

Residents are to hand over the rats to local officials who will pay out the reward and pass on the rats to the city's sanitation department for burial.

A similar project failed in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi during French colonial rule where money was handed over for rat tails.

Hanoi's rat population continued to increase as rat catchers simply cut off the rat tails before setting them free - allowing them to carry on breeding.

New Zealand has announced it plans to eradicate all rats on its islands as the government estimates pests cost the economy £1.76 billion a year.