Importing Rats and Roaches? Absurd? No!

Importing Rats and Roaches?  Absurd?  No!

An Article from the Daily Monitor in Kampala, describing using cockroaches and rats to help “clean up crime.”

Couldn’t they as easily train the garbage variety of rats and roaches?   Deployment and importation of more of the vermin and roaches?   This makes Westerners cringe as both of these are depicted as vile, disgusting and dirty pests.  Actually the mine sniffing rats concept is quite interesting to me.  I would never imagine our beloved “Felix the Rat” sitting at home smartly in his cage waiting for our cuddles working for bananas!  Yes we have a rat, but the only thing he’s sniffing out is his next treat.   Rats are actually quite intelligent.  The domesticated ones make excellent pets for children.

Police to import rats

June 6, 2010

With increased security threats in the country, police are now looking at importing rats and cockroaches to help them in crime prevention and detection, Sunday Monitor can reveal.

Rats and cockroaches will be “deployed” especially at the border entries and areas like Karamoja to sniff explosives and narcotics.

The Director of Police Administration, Mr Moses Balimwoyo, said their plans to import rodents and cockroaches is yet to be finalised. “There is a plan to have more animals in the unit like horses and rats. It sounds new but a rat performs more than a dog in detecting some explosives,” Mr Balimwoyo said. He made the revelation while passing out 10 dog handlers at the Canine Unit in Nsambya, a Kampala suburb.

Plans under way

The Canine Unit currently has only sniffer dogs and the management is in talks with neighbouring countries to buy horses and rats to control riots and transit of illicit drugs.

Given the increase in international events and the threats that come with them, the police have resolved to get different types of animals that can detect explosives. According to the Commandant of the Canine Unit, Dr Martin Mugume, rats are very effective in sniffing explosives with Trinitrotoluene (TNT) chemicals.

“Nearly all explosives have TNT and African Pouched rats can sniff it even when it is well hidden. When they sniff it they respond to their handler who then takes action,” Dr Mugume said. Such rats are used in Tanzania to sniff land mines.

He said cockroaches are excellent in sniffing narcotic drugs in luggage and they are used at airports in many developed countries. Uganda is marked by the United Nation office on Drugs and Crime as a transit area for illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin.

An excellent  and very interesting site describing the training and FAQ’s on mine sniffing HeroRats! No they aren’t suicide rats!

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