Just when you think things can't possibly get any loopier, they do.
Allow me a bit of history. Years ago when we lived in Oregon, when Older Daughter was just barely a toddler, we had a rat infestation. We had rats all over the house, in our basement, in our barn, in the chicken coop, in the shop, everywhere. Rats are BIG. And when you're watching your tiny toddler facing a rat, maternal instinct kicks in and you really, really want to make sure your kid isn't bitten.
We set traps and soon our problem was eradicated. If we were to have a repeat of that problem today, we would solve it in the same way.
So it's just durn lucky we don't live in Washington D.C. where it's the LAW that you cannot exterminate a rat. Please, spare me the lame jokes about politicians (because I agree with you), but the fact remains that rats are not endangered in any way. What they are is numerous, clever, filthy (their urine and droppings contaminate food), and vectors of disease.
The Wildlife Protection Act, passed unanimously in 2010, prohibits pest control operators from killing pests such as rats and mice. Instead -- get this -- the animals must be relocated. And more than that, pest control operators cannot break up rat families. Yes, you read that right. You can't leave Grampa Charlie Rat or Aunt Matilda Rat behind -- you have to round them all up and transport them together. (I'll leave you to speculate as to the impossible logistics of this feat.)
This is, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli notes, "a triumph of animal rights over human health."
What on earth does the Virginia Attorney General have to do with this law? Simple. The "relocated" rats are being transported across the river into Virginia, where they are released (in family groups, of course). "Actual experts in pest control will tell you, if you don’t move an animal about 25 miles, it will come back," Cuccinelli said. "So what’s the solution to that? Across the river."
Gene Harrington of the Fairfax-based National Pest Management Association called it a "stupid, stupid, ill-advised, ill-conceived law." Bingo, couldn't have said it any better myself.
So here we have an example of the entire population of Washington D.C. held captive by the bleeding-heart legislation of a few. And this, I think you'll agree, encapsulates the entire problem America is facing at the moment -- the entire population held captive by the bleeding-heart legislation of a few.
It is my sincerest wish that those doofuses who saw fit to pass this law will have their homes invaded by rats.