The Tuscan region of Italy is having a rough year.While the island of Giglio is dealing with the aftermath of the Costa Concordia disaster, its neighbour Montecristo has been overrun by black rats.
And just when authorities thought they had found a solution to their vermin problem (a.k.a. using aircraft to bombard Montecristo with 26 tons of poisonous pellets), environmental groups have put a spanner in the works, The Telegraph reports.
Montecristo, made famous by Alexander Dumas’ novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, is an uninhabited, rich natural reserve. A thousand tourists are allowed to visit each year under a tightly-controlled permit system. Activists are worried the lethal brodifacoum pellets could poison indigenous wildlife and — if they fall in the water — the surrounding sea.
Italy’s Anti-Vivisection League has lodged a formal objection to the plan with the government and the national park authority that administers the island. The National Association for the Protection of Animals said the proposal risked creating an “environmental slaughter”.
Even politicians from the centre-right party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi want clarification on its environmental impact.
But Franca Zanichelli, the director of the national park, said a similar eradication program had succeeded on the nearby island of Giannutri.
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