A council pest control officer bludgeoned a “squealing” rat repeatedly with a golf club in a family home - sparking an outcry from animal welfare leaders.

The worker was on a call-out to a house in Shettleston in Glasgow’s East End which is being treated for an infestation.

The family say the rats are burrowing through walls and nests have been found in a large gaping hole at the back of a kitchen cupboard.

Last Friday (April 12), the issue worsened when mother of three Hazel Grimes was bitten by one of the rodents and became unwell.

As a result of the vermin infestation, the family have had to flee their home until the problem can be sorted.

A Glasgow City Council pest control worker visited the family home and clubbed a rat twice but the blows were not enough to kill the rodent and it escaped.

Steven Haig said he thought it was "bizarre" when the employee brought the golf club into the family’s home last week.

Mr Haig said: “He left it in the house, then on Tuesday he was looking under the sink cupboard where the rats are getting in.

“He saw one and hit it twice with the club and it squealed and ran away. I thought it was a bit bizarre.”

Mr Haig and his partner Hazel Grimes, 39, took their children out of their three bedroom home last week after Hazel was bitten by one of the rats - resulting in her having to have a tetanus jab.

Hazel, who is mum Daniel, 14, Sophie, 10 and Holly, 7, was serving up an Indian take-away for the family when a rat ran across the kitchen floor.

She said: “We were all in the kitchen and I was just about to put out the food when I heard this banging noise.

“I looked down and their was a rat running around the kitchen floor at my feet, it had got out of a cupboard.

"I was hysterical and I shouted at my sister to get all the kids out.

“It was only the next day I noticed that I had been bitten.

"I felt really unwell with a sore stomach.”

Contact with rats through bites and scratches or by inhaling faeces can pose a risk of a number of diseases including Salmonella, Tuberculosis, Cryptosporidiosis, E.Coli and Foot and mouth disease.

They have asked Shettleston Housing Association to find them alternative accommodation until the infestation is cleared saying their two-year-old son Zack had been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.

Shettleston Housing Association have now agreed to relocate the family to temporary accommodation until the infestation is cleared.

Glasgow City Council said workers “had a variety of ways” for dealing with rats effectively.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn described the incident as “horrific” and said qualified pest control workers had a duty to carry out their work humanely.

Animal welfare charity One Kind condemned the employee’s “inhumane” actions.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Local authorities are within their rights to control animal populations where public health or safety is concerned and any action to deter animals occupying an area must be humanely carried out by a qualified individual.

“This incident sounds horrific and far from the conduct you would expect from a professional.

“We would urge those involved to contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 so that we can fully investigate.”

A council spokeswoman said: “An experienced pest controller visited the house.

"They have a variety of ways of dealing with rodents effectively and efficiently.”