- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a pilot program Monday that would aim to curb the growing subway rat problem by sterilizing the animals so they can’t reproduce.

The product, currently being tested in Arizona, will be administered to female rats orally and is intended to accelerate natural egg loss and sterilize the animals, The New York Times reports.

“This technology, if successful, could complement our current strategies of poisoning and exclusion for rodent management,” Thomas Lamb, the chief of innovation and technology for the MTA, said at a public meeting at the agency’s headquarters.

Reportedly, 30 million to 40 million rats are in the city, with many of them dwelling in the subway system. New Yorkers have a one in 10 chance of seeing a rat while waiting in a subway station, The New York Times reports.

The pilot program is slated to begin sometime this year, but it is unclear if the test will work on curbing the population growth of the rodents.

According to a fact sheet from the MTA, a rat would have to eat 8 percent to 10 percent of its body weight for five to 10 days to have reduced litter sizes within four weeks. The litter sizes would then eventually decline to zero.

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