Rat alert on duck pond near school

Rat caught on camera in Cottam
Rat caught on camera in Cottam
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Parents have been urged not to let their children feed bread to ducks after the latest rat infestation in Preston.

A popular pond 40 yards from Cottam Primary School has been troubled by unwelcome visitors in recent weeks, one of them caught on camera by a Post reader. Now the city council has issued an appeal to locals not to throw bread which is attracting vermin - and is bad for ducks anyway. Local councillor Christine Abram said: “I will certainly ask our staff if they will look into it. We’ve tried to persuade people in the past not to feed bread to the ducks. If people want to feed them then duck pellets are better.”

The reader, who asked not to be named, captured a huge rat on film. “People had thrown large amounts of bread for the ducks and then the rats appeared to grab some,” he said. “Regardless of the fact it attracts vermin, ducks shouldn’t be fed too much bread. It causes a condition called ‘angel wing.’ I know parents for generations have taken their children to feed the ducks and usually they throw bread for them. But it’s not doing them any good.”

A spokesman for Preston Council said: “We would advise feeding ducks with appropriate bird seed rather than bread, which can also attract rodents.”

Coun Abram added: “I would be very concerned if it was true that there are rats near to a school or playground. It’s not a problem we want. We will certainly take action if it turns out to be true.”