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Battersea animal home offers up cats to 'help Houses of Parliament tackle rodent problem'
28 Jan 2014
Cats from a London animal home are being offered to Westminster officials to help rid the Houses of Parliament of mice.
The animals could be brought in to help tackle the infestation while saving public money in the process, Battersea Cats and Dogs home said.
The total spend on pest control for Parliament during the 2012/13 financial year rose to £73,552, according to a Freedom of Information request last August - the equivalent of about £6,000 per month.
Last year, figures shows up to 40 mice were spotted scuttling around MPs' buildings each month - a huge increase from 2010 when the monthly average was closer to 10.
Anne McIntosh MP, chair of the House of Commons EFRA Select Committee, is one of several politicians to give her support to Battersea's offer of extra cats.
She said: "In my view, provided the situation was controlled with care, particularly considering the welfare of those allergic to cats, the best way to control and eliminate the mouse problem in Parliament would be a rescue cat."
The cats being offered to MPs include Jill, aged 3, Finn, aged 4 and one-year-old Bloom.
The charity, which is based in south west London, previously rehomed its now infamous cat Larry at Downing Street, where he holds the official title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet.