An Giang Province authorities have raided two farms and killed more than 180,000 rice-field rats illegally bred by two farmers in Tinh Bien District to sell to local restaurants as food.
More than 50 officials of Tinh Bien Town People's Committee have pumped water into the farms to kill the rodents since July 17, after the farmers failed to follow instructions to either kill or sell all of them for food.
The rats were being bred on the farms of Phan Van Gioi and Huynh Kim Kha.
Gioi told Nong Thon Ngay Nay that he had started a new fish-rat-fruit model farm that bred fish and field rats and cultivated fruit trees in the same area.
He said he began to breed rats in his farm three months ago and they have multiplied rapidly. He paved the ground and built concrete walls to prevent them from escaping and damaging the crops outside.
Gioi said he intended to sell the rats to restaurants in the Mekong Delta for food. However, local authorities demanded that he sells all of them within a month.
He said he only managed to sell a few hundred kilograms because many restaurants refused to buy the rodents that were still too young to be consumed as food.
Lam Van Ba, deputy chairman of Tinh Bien Town, said the farmers had not registered their rat breeding venture with concerned authorities.
The An Giang People's Committee has since instructed Tinh Bien to mobilize as many cats as possible to the area near the farm to catch any rats that are still alive.
Local media have presented different opinions with some local farmers saying it is a good model because it would attract rodents from surrouding areas, while others were worried that the rats could escape and infest their farms.