‘Infestations everywhere’ as 1.3M rodents invade city: ‘Worst rat plague I’ve ever seen’

SNP ‘have been absolute disaster for Scotland’ says Leo Kearse

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Reports of rats throughout the city have been shared in 2021, with Conservatives pleading for more funds to tackle the rodent problem in January. Now, the trade union GMB has blamed job cuts which have left refuse teams unable to cope with the surge in rats.

A survey by exterminators revealed Glasgow has the biggest vermin problem in Scotland, with around 1.3 million rodents reported.

Only London, Birmingham and Leeds have more rodents than Glasgow in the UK.

Edinburgh was ranked seventh by the exterminators, with around 1.1 million rodents.

Aberdeen is also believed to have almost 500,000 rats, with 330,000 in Dundee, around 180,000 in Inverness and nearly 84,000 invading Stirling.

Chris Mitchell, GMB Scotland convener for the city council cleansing department, told The Sun he has threatened to “pull labour” over health fears.

He added: “We cannot go on like this — we have reached crisis point. It’s the worst rat plague I have ever seen. There are infestations everywhere.

“The first thing you do when you visit a country is look at how clean it is but there are parts of this city which are manky.

“We want COP26 to be a success, but how can we welcome people to this great city when it’s in this state?”

Opposition MSPs have also skewered the SNP and council leaders for not doing more to tackle the rodent problem.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “The city’s waste crisis is becoming a full-blown health hazard. Glasgow deserves better.”

Glasgow Tory MSP Annie Wells accused council chiefs of being “oblivious to the issue”.

She added: “It’s scandalous that council employees are routinely at risk of attack by rats while they clean up.

“Glasgow is in no fit place to welcome world leaders to COP26.”

Glasgow’s pest control service received more than 8,500 calls bet­ween January 2020 and March 2021.

GMB Scotland said street cleaner numbers in the city fell from 900 to 213 in the last seven years, with bin staff down from 1,300 to 800.

It has now launched its own rat register to report sightings.

Glasgow Council has insisted it employed 598 refuse collectors and 420 street cleaners, with a target of adding another 30.

A spokesman told The Sun: “Cleansing budgets are being protected and investments made.”

It comes after Stephen Egan, official in Glasgow responsible for the cleanliness of parks and streets, insisted he did not recognise talk of “rat attacks”.

He said: “That is not something I am aware of. There have been several unfortunate incidents over the last six to 12 months.

“Rats are never a good thing. We have had workers who have been scratched and have had to go for a tetanus jag.

“In the latest situation the guy was back at work in an hour and a half. The idea that rats are attacking people on a regular basis is just not evidenced.”

City leader Susan Aitken also said: “I don’t believe the streets are filthy.”

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