Seawright to Host Rat Academy Training and Calling on Taxi Commission to Stop Upper East Side Serial Pigeon Feeder

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright will convene a “Rat Academy” in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health for residents and building superintendents in the ongoing war to fight rat infestation.

Joining forces as co-sponsors of the event are the East 60s Neighborhood Association, the East 72nd Neighborhood Association, the East 79th Neighborhood Association, the East 83rd/84th Street Block Association, the E. 86th St. Association, and the Treadwell Farm Historic District.

Seawright said she organized the presentation with the Health Department in response to the growing rat complaints and the impact on public health and quality of life.

“This is a public health issue,” she said. “An increase of rat infestation and rat sightings within the neighborhood. The Rat Academy will educate building supers, staff, and tenants on rat prevention methods that have effectively controlled the population.”

Seawright cited recent reports of individuals dumping large amounts of pigeon feed on sidewalks and streets. In recent weeks, reports have circulated that a taxi driver is depositing large amounts of bird seeds in various locations attracting pigeons and rats.

Seawright has called on Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan and Taxi, and Limousine Commissioner David Do to “swiftly take appropriate action to investigate the serious public health issue.”

"My top concern and priority is the health and safety of our community,” she said in the letter.

The Rat Academy will convene on Wednesday, September 21, from 6 PM to 8 PM via Zoom.

RSVP to 212-288-4607 or

Residents who join the virtual information session are urged to include specific information about rat “hotspots” in the neighborhood for the presenters to address.