Cash-strapped New Zealand students killing rats in exchange for beer
Tuesday 22 April 2014
University students in New Zealand are bringing in dead rats to the local university bar in exchange for beer.
The University of Wellington Science Society Department is running a scheme allowing students the option to kill rats - and in return providing them with free alcohol.
The university provides the traps to students to help them catch the rats. Once caught, the student can head into the campus pub, The Hunters Lounge and exchange the dead rat for a beer voucher.
The killing of rats was initiated by the Science Society as the rats have become a huge problem and are affecting New Zealand's indigenous wildlife. They are eating lizards and are even climbing trees to eat birds' eggs.
They also have a competitive edge over insects such as the Weta, a native New Zealand insect which is finding it very difficult to forage for food with the rats for company.
In an interview with Vice magazine, Jonathan Musther, one of the founders of the trap campaign said: “Not only are rats directly predating our species, they are also competing with them.”
The Department of Conservation in New Zealand has a good trapping system established in parks and reserves but unfortunately they are unable to start laying traps in the backyards of local residents, so the Science Society decided to involve students. They've have now set up a Facebook page called Beer Trap, which communicates the need to help keep Wellington rat-free.
“We decided to get students from the Victoria University Science Society involved in running Beer Trap. The best way to incentivise them would be to get them a free drink. They are students after all,” said Musther.
The scheme is not just focused on the killing of rats; hedgehogs also face being trapped, as the Department of Conservation has recently discovered the potential danger that they also pose. Studies in the South Island of New Zealand have recently demonstrated that hedgehogs are responsible for one in five attacks on low-lying birds' nests.
“We’re only just beginning to realise how evil they are,” a spokesman said.
As a result the scheme has faced some opposition from local campaign groups - as well as fears that it could increase alcohol consumption amongst students.
“We’ve now been dubbed 'remorseless hedgehog killers',” said Musther.
As for concerns about the incentive of alcohol being offered to students. Musther said,:“I don’t think it’s an issue because I don’t think anyone’s going to catch that many rats. No one’s going to catch ten rats and go to the Hunter Lounge and get sloshed.”
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...