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Environmentally Safe Drug to Kill Mice at Three Gorges
As the last of the measures to rid the Three Gorges dam area of mice, workers began on Monday to spread 120 tons of a deadly drug throughout demolished areas and newly-built resettlements.

According to medical workers, the drug, containing ingredients known to have a curing effect on human heart disease, will "put mice to sleep" and would therefore have no negative impact on the environment.

Next June, the water level in the dam of the world's largest hydro-power project is expected to reach 135 meters, a fact which has drawn intense media attention to the environmental questions surrounding the Three Gorges project.

Feng Shaoquan, a mousing expert at the Chongqing Municipal Disease Control Center, said that over the next seven days, trained sanitary clearance staff would continue to scatter the drug and remove the dead mice, which will later be cremated and buried far from the dam area.

The total amount of raticide used at Three Gorges will reach 200 tons, Feng said.

The drug was purchased through a nationwide bidding process. The winner, Shenyang Aiwei Co., said that the drug, which consists of rice soaked with the raticide, will have only a very minor environmental impact.

Had this measure not been taken, the mice would relocate to dry ground once the dam begins to store water. They would even follow residents to their new homes located dozens of kilometers away, Feng said.

Last October, relevant departments began providing training to more than 800 disease control staff and 5,000 clearance workers.

(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2002)

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