§ Ms Atherton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his policy for reducing public health problems arising through rat infestation. 
§ Ms Jowell
Statutory responsibility for the control of rat infestations rests with local authorities. There is no evidence that the levels of infestation found in the 1993 National Rodent Survey were associated with detectable effects on public health. Officials from the Department of Health, in discussion with officials from other government departments, will continue to monitor trends in infestation and the adequacy of current control measures.