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Paris ministry uses cats to catch ‘rats in hallway’

Cats and rat traps have been brought into some Paris government ministry buildings after an infestation of rats and other rodents.

The home office (ministry of the interior) has been especially affected, according to reports, including the hallways and also the apartment of Jacqueline Gourault, the minister’s secretary.

The home office minister has installed rat traps in a bid to curb the problem, but another minister - the prime minister’s secretary Christophe Castaner - has gone even further.

Castaner, whose offices have also been affected by rodents, has brought in cats to deal with the issue.

The fluffy rodent-killing creatures have been affectionately named Nomi and Noé, in honour of the Breton foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, as “Nominoe” was the name of the first king of Brittany.

Rats are often thought to be a significant problem in Paris, with a seminar in the city organised in 2016 even named “Strategies for Better Management of Rats in Urban Areas”.

Earlier this year a new €1.5 million anti-rat scheme was launched in the city by the Paris council, in a bid to put in place “a very fast plan of eradication of these rodents across Paris”.

As Le Parisien newspaper asked earlier this year, in a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Disney Pixar comedy animation, Ratatouille, which follows the fictional story of a rat in Paris, pictured above: “Do Ratatouille and his friends present a real risk to the public health of Parisians?”

If the state of the ministry buildings is anything to go by, it appears that the success of this year's anti-rat scheme is yet to be fully ascertained...

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