“Rats were most common in the modern newly built areas of Hanoi.” How was the rat hunt started in Hanoi?

  • To get rid of rats, a ‘Rat Hunt’ was started in 1902.
  • The French hired Vietnamese workers and paid them for each rat they caught.
  • Rats began to be caught in thousands but still there seemed to be no end.
  • Those who did the dirty work of entering sewers found that if they came together, they could get more money.
  • The bounty was paid when a tail was given as a proof that a rat had been killed.
  • So the rat catchers took to just clipping the tails and releasing the rats, so that the process could be repeated over and over again.
  • Ultimately, the French were forced to stop the bounty programme.
  • Besides this arrangement, the plague swept through the area.