Kill Rats, Have Beer; New Zealand University Launch Beer Trap to Help Keep Wellington Rat-Free

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 23, 2014 3:35 PM EST

When thirsty for beer, students in the University of Wellington in New Zealand all just need to hunt and kill rats in exchange for a bottle. The university's Science Society Department just recently launched a program called Beer Trap which aims to help keep Wellington rat-free.

The traps to catch the rats are provided by the university. Once they have killed a rodent, the student can exchange it for a beer voucher at the campus pub, called The Hunters Lounge.

According to a report by The Independent, the rat population has been increasing, affecting New Zealand's indigenous wildlife. Some have been seen climbing trees to eat birds' eggs. A number eat lizards.

"Not only are rats directly predating our species, they are also competing with them," Jonathan Musther, one of the founders of the Beer Trap campaign, told Vice magazine.

"We decided to get students from the Victoria University Science Society involved in running Beer Trap. The best way to incentivise them would be to get them a free drink. They are students after all," Mr Musther said.

Apart from rats, the scheme also includes the hedgehogs.

As expected, there are concerns the chosen incentive to students would promote the rise of alcoholic drinking and addiction in the university.

"I don't think it's an issue because I don't think anyone's going to catch that many rats. No one's going to catch ten rats and go to the Hunter Lounge and get sloshed," Musther said.

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