China trains fur farm foxes to combat rat plague
BEIJING (Reuters) - Authorities in China's far west have bred and trained "an army" of silver foxes bought from a fur farm to fight a plague of rats threatening a huge expanse of grasslands, state media said on Wednesday.
The Xinjiang government bought 20 foxes in 2004 and they have since increased to 284 and been released into the wild, the official Xinhua news agency said.
"Foxes are excellent natural predators of the rodent. One fox can catch about 20 rats per day. There has been a decline in the rat population in several counties where the measure has been adopted," it quoted official Ni Yifei as saying.