December 9, 2023

PETA has laid blame on Big Apple citizens for the city’s rampant rat woes, slamming Mayor Eric Adams’ recent cull campaign as ‘inhumane’ and no more than a political ploy.

Speaking to DailyMail.com Sunday, rep Ashley Byrne offered insight on the activism group’s reaction to Adam’s recent move to hire a $155,000-a-year ‘rat czar’ to carry out the cull.

An official listing published by the city called for candidates that were not only motivated, but ‘somewhat bloodthirsty’ – perquisites apparently exhibited by a 34-year-old former elementary school teacher appointed to the post last week.

Tasked with overseeing the animal activist group’s communications, Byrne – a resident of Brooklyn herself – on Sunday called the move from the former NYPD captain ‘cartoonish’ and ‘entirely unhelpful.’

Instead of killing the animals – which she described as ‘intelligent and sensitive creatures’ – Byrne says the city should first look toward what is drawing the rats: the trash wrought by millions of New Yorkers on a daily basis. She suggested birth control as well as increased city cleanup efforts as more reasonable alternatives.

Speaking to DailyMail.com Sunday, rep Ashley Byrne offered insight on the activism group’s reaction to Adam’s recent move to hire a $155,000-a-year ‘rat czar’ to carry out the cull.

She called Adams’ appointment of Kathleen Corradi as the new Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation at an outdoor procession in Harlem’s St. Nicholas Park as no more than ‘ghoulish political theatre’ – a performance that accomplishes ‘nothing’ 

‘It’s worrying that tax payer dollars are being used for a public official to stand at a podium to boast about killing these small sensitive animals,’ the animal activist said of Adams’ campaign

‘All you need have to do is walk down the street to see what the issue is,’ said Byrne when asked about Adam’s ongoing effort to quell the city’s well-known rat predicament.

‘As long as humans are littering and leaving garbage, rats will be there,’ she added.

‘You can hire whoever, rats will come and go as they please as long as the streets stay filthy.’

She said the city is currently in such a state, with ‘disgusting human behavior’ being to blame. 

She called Adams’ appointment of Kathleen Corradi as Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation at an outdoor procession in Harlem’s St. Nicholas Park as no more than ‘ghoulish political theatre’ – a performance that accomplishes ‘nothing.’

‘Holding a conference and referring to the creatures as some sort of malevolent beings gives the appearance of doing something, when in reality, it does nothing. It’s just cartoonish and entirely unhelpful.

‘As long as the garbage is there and being littered across the city, rats will be there,’ she said.

‘It’s worrying that tax payer dollars are being used for a public official to stand at a podium to boast about killing these small sensitive animals,’ which she cited feels pain just as a god or cat does. ‘It’s reprehensible.’ 

She slammed the latest move from the former NYPD captain – who has so far been unsuccessful in bids to quell not only the rat epidemic but crime – ‘cartoonish’ and ‘unhelpful’ 

At Wednesday’s conference the city laid out a variety of materials it was proposing to use in order to attack the rat population, including traps, sealant and poisons

She added that it’s easier for the politician – who after failing to quell the city’s crime rate has widened his focus to address rising vermin numbers – to pass blame on the four-legged critters instead of owning up to his own failures as a leader.

‘The city needs to change how garbage is managed. The only effective long-term solution is to treat our city our city differently.

‘A lethal solution will not change that. A real solution takes time and effort to bring change in the long-term. It’s unfortunate that instead we are subjected to these performances.

‘We need more diligent trash collection, and to get New Yorkers to stop leaving trash on their city’s streets and treating it like a garbage dump.’ 

 Byrne’s comments come after Adams announced the appointment of the city’s inaugural director of rodent mitigation, crowning Corradi with the position.

The position was listed for several months, and had been billed toward anyone with a background in urban planning, project management, or government work. 

It explained the job would require doing ‘the impossible’ to reduce the number of rats in the city, with the main goal being to stop the spread of diseases the vermin are thought to commonly carry.

It also suggested the right candidate would have a ‘swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery,’ A knowledge of PowerPoint, and a ‘somewhat bloodthirsty’ nature.

The PETA official, however, called these prerequisites ‘a joke’ – claiming if the city actually care about solving its prevailing rat issue, they would do something about the dozens of live animal food markets it currently allows to operate.

‘If they were actually concerned, they would not allow more than 80 live animal  markets to operate within their city’s limits in the middle of an Avian Flu outbreak.

‘The real solution is to take the time and effort to actually bring long-term change. Not this.’

She added that rats will always be as synonymous with the City That Never Sleeps as long as there is trash,  and that the city should not have the right to kill them in an inhumane manner. 

 Previously, Adams has said that he is  ‘fixated on killing rats’, labeling the animals ‘public enemy number one.’

Now tasked with carrying out the killing is Corradi, who has worked at the Education Department and previously led its rodent reduction efforts, The New York Times reported. 

‘Due to those efforts nearly 70 percent of schools with persistent rodent issues reached their compliance goals,’ Corradi said of her previous campaigns to control the animal population.

‘As New York City’s first Director of Rodent Mitigation, I will bring a science and systems based approaching to reducing New York City’s rat population,’ she added

‘You’ll be seeing a lot of me and lot less rats.’

Speaking to The Times, Corradi’s mother her hatred of rats is long-lasting. She recounted how nearly 25 years ago, a ten-year-old Corradi spotted a dead rat by some train tracks on Long Island.

In shock she distributed a petition between neighbors and delivered it to local officials demanding that something be done. 

‘The Long Island Rail Road listened,’ said her mother. ‘They came and did rat mitigation.’

At Wednesday’s conference the city laid out on a table a variety of materials it was proposing to use in order to attack the rat population, including traps, sealant and poisons.

Adams declared a war on rats last December when he began his search for somebody to occupy the new position. ‘There’s nothing I hate more than rats,’ he said while advertising what is now Corradi’s job. 

New York City – a longtime haven for the creatures that commonly indicate filth – boasts a rat population roughly quarter the size of human population – amounting to approximately 2 million rats.

The creatures only live for about a year, but seemed to increase in prevalence during the pandemic, when there was less foot traffic to deter them from venturing on the city’s streets.

These days, thought, the rodents have grown increasingly more brazen, despite daily activities in the Big Apple for the most part resuming as normal. 

Adams’s rat city-wide rat issue has affected his own home too. In December, he was served a summons for a rat infestation at the Brooklyn home in which he lives with his son. 

His record showed an unpaid summons penalty for $330 that he received in May – after it was found that his Bedford Stuyvesant home is flooded with the rodents.

Adams contested the ticket in a hearing before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings in February, but an officer denied the challenge and the mayor was ordered to pay $300.

The ‘Director of Rodent Mitigation’ job posting, for which Corradi has now been hired

Adams invited reporters to tour his basement home in Brooklyn last year, in a bid to prove that he actually lived in the city – rather than in New Jersey

When Adams was the president of the borough of Brooklyn he staged a press conference to illustrate that he did live on the property

Adams’ home serves as a partial rental property. The mayor previously failed to list his home as a rental and critics have accused him of actually living in New Jersey with his girlfriend Tracey Collins. 

To debunk those claims last year he invited reporters into his Brooklyn home. He said he lived in the basement and rented out the floors above to pay for his son Jordan’s college fees.

Adams is registered to vote on the first floor, yet a tenant who has lived there for years is listed under the same unit in multiple documents obtained by Politico last year.