Paris could bring back the guillotine to stem the rat invasion

Paris has long-suffered from a rat invasion which it has attempted to tackle in a myriad of ways, but an old-fashioned French execution device could be the answer to the capital's prayers.

Paris could bring back the guillotine to stem the rat invasion
Illustration photo (AFP)
Rats are believed to easily outnumber Parisians in the city, with their numbers increasing all the time.
And in an attempt to improve the situation, the city has taken some drastic measures including closing parks and bringing cats into prestigious illustrious government buildings but a recent stomach-churning video showing scores of rats in a Paris dumpster sparked alarm over the invasion of rats in the French capital. 
Now it's trying another — much more aggressive — method of combating the rodent population…the guillotine.  
In the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers which is particularly affected by the rodent invasion, authorities have been testing a mechanical version of the famous French execution device in the sewers. See the picture in the tweet below.

The trap, which is inserted into a pipe, detects the rat by heat and motion sensors and then drops a series of blades, causing “the rupture of the spinal cord and therefore death in a split second,” explained one of its developers Laurent Nguyen to Le Parisien, adding that “the rat hardly suffers.” 
And while it might sound gruesome, so far local authorities are pleased with the results, with 45 rats killed during the first month of testing. 
“If the device still works as well by the end of March, we will ask for it to be developed it in other areas of the city,” said president of a local housing group, Anthony Daguet.
But if it the Paris authorities do decide to roll the device out across the city, it's certainly going to cost them the big bucks, with each “guillotine” costing between €300 and €450 per month.
How much is the city willing to shell out to fight the scourge of rats?
Yikes! Chilling video of rats in Paris dumpster sparks new alarm over rodent invasion
Photo: Screengrab Le Parisien


Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

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