Parliamentary Cat

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 6 June 2013.

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Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

4. To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether it will consider procuring a resident cat as a humane mouse deterrent. (S4O-02228)

Members: Miaow!

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

No. The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body has no plans to procure a resident cat.

Members: Shame!

We do, however, have a specialist pest control contractor who visits the building regularly.

Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

I am dispirited by that response, given that we already have an established practice of setting nature on unwanted residents in the form of the hawk versus the pigeons, and given that my question was prompted by the experience of a member of the corporate body, who shall remain nameless. Is the corporate body really satisfied that the mice are under control, given the increasing sightings as they flaunt themselves in public in broad daylight? If there are more rodent rompings, will the corporate body reconsider and provide some rather homeless felines with meaningful employment?

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

May I say to the member that she is not half as dispirited as the poor wee mice were, with the panic in their breasties as they saw Mistresses Scanlon and Grahame advancing upon them in Queensberry house? We have considered the suggestion of having a Parliament cat, but lots of issues arise, such as the issue of the security doors and the issue of cruelty, in fact, to a resident cat, which would not be able to get out and about the building. In addition, members have said to us that they have an allergy to cats.

We are satisfied that the pest control measures that we can undertake are sufficient to stop the infestation of mice that Mrs Grahame is obviously terribly concerned about.

Photo of Jim Eadie Jim Eadie Scottish National Party

My colleague Christine Grahame is to be congratulated on her question, which has set the cat among the pigeons.

Pest control is a serious issue and not to address it would be a mousetake and could even have catastrophic consequences for the health and safety of those who work in the building. Perhaps we could investigate the issue of a security collar for the cat, which might overcome some of the problems that Linda Fabiani identified.

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

We do not have problems in ensuring that we are in control of any potential mouse sightings in the Parliament, and therefore the answer to Mr Eadie is naw.