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Vermin Infestation

Volume 575: debated on Thursday 6 February 2014

Recent representations have been received from hon. Members about mice in Norman Shaw South. Measures taken include sealing gaps and fitting bristle strips to office doors. Leaflets have been distributed to alert occupants to the measures being taken and provide practical advice to alleviate the problem. I encourage hon. Members to follow that advice, which includes not leaving sandwiches on their desks.

According to recent media reports, mutant super rats are taking over the Commons and it is costing £6,000 per month for vermin control measures on the parliamentary estate. Surely the traditional use of cats would be more effective and cheaper.

My sympathies are entirely with the hon. Lady. I have a perfectly vicious cat in Thurso which is keeping the rodent population down. There are serious problems in relation to people who are allergic to cats and the diseases they carry. After extensive research, it is believed that there is no rat problem inside the House of Commons—at least, not of the four-legged variety.

As I am sure you are aware, Mr Speaker, we have been offered a rescue cat or two from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. I fear I might be allergic to mice and rats—of the two and four-legged variety—so will my hon. Friend consider that very generous offer?