According to the guide on my walking tour of The Rocks neighborhood in Sydney, Australia, when the plague hit the city around 1900 a bounty was placed on rats to encourage people to kill them, since it was known that rats bore the fleas that communicated the disease to humans. The intent of the bounty was plain enough: reducing the number of rats to reduce the spread of the plague. An unintended consequence, however, was that residents, tempted by the rat bounty, began breeding rats… *
Stretching back at least to that faux pas about the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, various branches of Abrahamic religions have had a thing about graven images. Which has given us aniconism, the banning of icons, and iconoclasts, who destroy offensive images on religious grounds. Orthodox Judaism has been into that at times; ditto for Calvinists, especially when it came to those idolatrous Catholics. Currently it’s branches of Sunni Islam that deploy literal graven-image police and consider the height of offense to be images of Allah and Muhammad.