HC Deb 24 January 2000 vol 343 cc129-30W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the findings were of the 1996 English House Condition Survey on the relationship between rat infestations and unfitness due to ineffective draining of foul, waste and surface water. [105482]

Mr. Mullin

The recent MAFF report "Rodent Infestations in domestic properties in England" covers this issue. MAFF's report tentatively suggests that there is a relationship between the incidence of blocked drains and outdoor rat infestation but this has not been supported with statistically significant analysis of the data so the conclusion needs to be treated with caution. Moreover, faults that might be expected to reflect a direct link with sewers, such as cracked or defective drains covers, were not found to be related to rat infestation. A copy of the MAFF report is in the House of Commons Library.