by Sean Murphy
A Glaswegian family have told of their shock after a council pest control officer called out to their home about a rat infestation in their kitchen struck one of the rodents with a golf club.
Steven Haig and partner Hazel Grimes said that rats had invaded their home in the East End of Glasgow, forcing them to move out with their four children.
The pair say that nests were found in a large gaping hole at the back of a kitchen cupboard, with the family forced to stay with relatives while the problem was being sorted.
However, they stated that they were stunned when one worker, employed by Glasgow City Council, whacked at a rat twice with a golf club, which he brought with him to sort out the problem.
The local authority later said that their staff are permitted to deal with rodents in a "variety of ways".
Steven, 38, said, “He left it in the house, then on Tuesday he was looking under the sink cupboard where the rats are getting in.
“He saw one and hit it twice with the club and it squealed and ran away. I thought it was a bit bizarre.”
His partner Hazel said she was even bitten by one of the rats and had to get a tetanus injection.
The couple believe their toddler son, Zack, aged two, became ill with vomiting and diarrhoea due to the rodent infestation at their home in Shettleston.
Bitten by a rat
They had sat down for a takeaway with Daniel, 14, Sophie, aged 10 and Holly, seven, when a rat ran across the kitchen floor last Friday.
Hazel said, “We were all in the kitchen and I was just about to put out the food when I heard this banging noise.
“I looked down and there was a rat running around the kitchen floor at my feet. It had got out of a cupboard. I was hysterical and I shouted at my sister to get all the kids out.
“It was only the next day I noticed that I had been bitten. I felt really unwell with a sore stomach.”
Issued with a golf club?
Shettleston Housing Association said it was "concerned" and had contacted Environmental Health.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said, “An experienced pest controller visited the house.
“They have a variety of ways of dealing with rodents effectively and efficiently.”
The local authority has not confirmed whether or not the pest controller was issued with the golf club.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “Local authorities are within their rights to control animal populations where public health or safety is concerned and any action to deter animals occupying an area must be humanely carried out by a qualified individual.
“This incident sounds horrific and far from the conduct you would expect from a professional.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman