Mayor of Nice not so nice towards local rodents

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

NICE, France, June 29 (AFP) - A French mayor who came off best in a run-in with a rat has found himself in the jaws of a bigger adversary after boasting about his exploit to the press.

NICE, France, June 29 (AFP) - A French mayor who came off best in a run-in with a rat has found himself in the jaws of a bigger adversary after boasting about his exploit to the press.

France's Society for the Protection of Animals has lodged a criminal complaint against Jacques Peyrat, the mayor of the Riviera city Nice, for cruelty towards the rodent he claimed to have "smashed" with a shovel last week.

Peyrat was visiting a trash collection area in Nice's historic centre when he spotted "a rat almost as big as a cat," according to his interview with the newspaper Nice Matin.

He grabbed a shovel and brought it down on the beast, killing it.

"I can't stand those animals," he said. "There are three times more rats in Nice than people."

The SPA said in its letter to the local state prosecutor's office sent last Friday that it viewed the killing as cruelty and the mayor's boasting as incitement for others to follow suit.

"A huge rat-clearing operation is necessary, but nothing justifies going off on a punitive expedition against these animals, which are attracted to the trash cans left out at night in the Old City by restaurants," said the regional SPA chief, Jacky Ladriere.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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