From the Brooklyn Paper:
Prospect Park’s Dog Beach, where hundreds of dogs cool off each day, has become a haven for disease-ridden rats whose bacteria-laden feces and urine could kill the canines.
The problem, health experts say, is that rats are known to be carriers for leptospitosis, a potentially fatal disease that damages the liver and kidneys of both humans and animals, and has been labeled the “most widespread [animal-transmitted] disease in the world” by the Center for Disease Control.
Pets become infected when they come in contact with bodily tissues or fluids from a diseased animal — something not that hard to do with sick rodents urinating in Dog Beach on a daily basis.
After complaints by Park Slopers this week, Parks Department workers put poisoned bait in the rats’ nests.
Won't this also kill the creatures that eat the rats, such as the hawks and owls that live in the park? Will the upcoming Prospect Park Hawk Weekend feature a demonstration on how poison can kill multiple links in the food chain? Maybe issuing a warning to owners of dogs that use the beach about the rats carrying disease would be the right thing to do instead. Or have dog beach days be the same as human beach days. (They ended yesterday.)