An online petition set up by animal rights activist Josette Benchetrit, “Stop the genocide of rats,” is demanding an immediate end to the city’s program, and has already garnered more than 21,500 signatures. “We are killing all these unfortunates without mercy in the name of our phobia of rats” she says. “Rats don’t kill anyone”, the online petition says ignoring the truth: there are many dangers coming from rats. Rat bites and scratches can result in disease and rat-bite fever. Rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), a viral infectious disease, is transmitted also through the saliva and urine of rats. Finally the bubonic plague, also called “Black Plague,” and its variants is transmitted by rats.