A POPULAR Wigan town centre pub was forced to temporarily shut its doors after two rats were found inside.
The Moon under Water, owned by chain Wetherspoon, closed on Friday afternoon before reopening on Saturday morning.
The first rodent was spotted by a customer and the management took the decision to close for health and safety reasons.
There was no indication that the pub was responsible and the management quickly informed Environmental Health and helped them in their investigations.
Council officers were yesterday set to visit the site for a further assessment.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We can confirm that The Moon under Water pub in Wigan was closed from Friday afternoon until reopening on Saturday morning.
“The decision to close the pub was made by the general manager and it follows reports of rats in the area.
“Wetherspoon has been aware of rats in the area, as a result of building work in the town. It has worked closely with its own pest control team and EHO to ensure that there are no issues in the pub itself.”
Wetherspoon’s pest control team laid traps and two rats were caught while the pub was closed.
And once the premises were found to be clear on Saturday, the pub was reopened.
The company reiterated to customers that they were not at fault for the incident and say that it is their belief they surfaced because of ongoing building work in the local vicinity.
Mr Gershon added: “The council’s EHO were made fully aware of the situation and visited the pub and said they were pleased with Wetherspoon’s approach to the situation. The company decided that it was able to reopen the pub on Saturday, with backing from the EHO and to date there have been no further problems, though the pub staff will remain vigilant.
“There is no suggestion whatsoever that the pub is responsible for the rats, but that it is due to the various building projects in the town centre.”
The pub has been open for business since Saturday and has not had any problems since the isolated incident. Julie Searing, Business Compliance Service Manager, Wigan Council says:
“We are satisfied that the management behaved in a responsible way in response to the discovery of vermin on Friday, and that they are proactively managing the situation.
“There have been no further sightings and the management will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”