03:07 GMT05 August 2020
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    Municipal workers in a suburb of Paris are testing a special mini-guillotine designed for use against rats, bringing back an execution device not used in France since 1977.

    The trap, which can be installed on any ordinary sewer pipe, consists of motion and heat sensors to detect the rat's presence. As soon as the rodent passes under the trap's blades, they drop, causing instant death. Once the blades are raised, the animal's body is emptied into the sewage. 

    The mobile, battery powered trap is being tested in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.

    Speaking to Le Parisien, Laurent Nguyen, an engineer from the company that invented the device, emphasized that it is specifically designed to be as humane as possible. "The rat hardly suffers," he said, especially when compared to alternatives such as rat poison, to which Paris's rodent population has developed a resistance. The mechanism is also safe for people and the environment, as it does not use any harmful chemicals.

    In the first month of testing, the mini-guillotine has killed 45 rats in Aubervilliers. Testing will continue through to the end of March and, if proven successful, the device could be deployed throughout the capital.

    Paris has faced immense problems with rats in recent weeks in connection with last month's flooding of the River Seine, which resulted in thousands of rats which normally live on the waterways and in the sewers emerging onto the city's streets.


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