Tick Season Warning

Brits have been urged to take caution as the warm weather approaches and ticks emerge to feed on the blood of passing humans and animals.

Gardening experts at BillyOh.com have compiled a list of top tips to help the public stay safe during peak tick season.

Ticks are most common in the UK’s woodland areas and are often found clinging to tall grass and shrubs – but numbers have increased dramatically in the past ten years.

Tick before & after feeding

A blood-sucking member of the spider family, there are over 22 species in the UK, each becoming particularly active from the start of spring to mid-autumn.

The majority feed on wild animals such as bats, woodland birds and badgers, but they are known to cling onto family pets or bite at the ankles of passers-by, too.

Ticks can transmit bacteria when feeding which can cause Lyme disease, which can become serious if not treated.

Named as a danger to public health, experts are urging people to remain vigilant of the critter and ensure that they are properly prepared to deal with the risk.

Tips include swapping out sandals for wellies, opting for light coloured clothing and not straying from footpaths unless necessary.

A spokesperson from BillyOh.com said: “As the weather conditions improve, many Brits will be out enjoying the sun in grassy areas, where ticks are usually found.

“It’s vital to be educated on the risks of these tiny critters, as if you’re bitten and it’s not treated correctly, this can potentially result in serious consequences.

“Following a few simple tips can lower the risk of being bitten by a tick dramatically and prevent further health issues.”

Here are BillyOh.com’s top tips for ticks:

1. Stick to paths

Try not to stray from paths and avoid overhanging vegetation unless necessary. Ticks do not jump or fly so sticking to clear areas without tall grass or shrubs will decrease the chances of being bitten. If in an area where there is no footpath, try and avoid tall grass or shady areas that are surrounded by shrubs.

2. Light Clothing

When in areas of woodland remained covered, wear long sleeve tops and full-length trousers. Protect areas such as the back of the knees, armpits and the groin area. Opt for light coloured clothing in order to easily identify any ticks present that may become attached.

3. Footwear

Wellies are not only reserved for rainy days and are perfect when in high risk areas, as you can tuck trousers into the wellie boots. Tucking trousers into socks is also a great defence mechanism if wellies are not an option.

4. Regular checks

Ticks are very small and hard to identify when not paying attention. Check regularly whilst outside and also when home in order to remove any feeding ticks. The longer a tick is left attached the harder it is to remove.

5. Right tools

Avoid any home remedies to try and remove ticks such as covering the affected area of the body in Vaseline or nail varnish or even burning them off. Instead, use a tick removal tool. This will help avoid aggravating the tick and lower the risk of secondary infection. When removed, use an antiseptic wipe and be aware of any symptoms of Lyme disease.

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Practical Ways To Improve Your Dog’s Physical Fitness

To say that exercise is important, is a no-brainer. You might focus on some form of fitness during the week yourself, not only for enjoyment, but because you understand the benefits exercise affords you.

You will reduce the chances of obesity, strengthen your bones and muscle joints, and alleviate the risk of a heart attack by reducing both your blood pressure and your cholesterol level. And hey, you might have taken a dog into your home to give you the incentive to exercise more, and that’s great

Understanding the importance of exercise for yourself then, you should also transfer your knowledge to your dog. When you focus on their physical fitness on a daily basis, you reduce the chances of them becoming obese, and consequently, lower the risk of arthritic and heart problems occurring in their lives. On a slightly more selfish level, you will also reduce your vet bills should a health problem present itself

Of course, we are sure you already exercise your dog to some capacity. You might take them for a walk around the block every evening, or you might take them to the park. However, to improve your dog’s physical fitness, you should go the extra mile with them, perhaps literally!

Here are some practical ways to improve your dog’s level of physical fitness.

#1: Go the extra mile

As we have just suggested, this is one of the best ways to improve your dog’s fitness. You do need to be mindful of the breed of dog you are walking, of course. Certain dogs don’t require as much exercise as others, including these examples. However, there are certain dogs that do, and these are usually larger animals, such as Border Collies, Dalmatians, and Shetland Sheepdogs. You should research your breed online and speak to your vet to find out more. Still, once you know the limits of your dog, you should then walk them accordingly. Walk for their benefit as well as your own, giving them the luxury of a longer walk if appropriate, even if it takes up a little more time of your day. Your dog will appreciate it, and their physical health will benefit as a consequence.

#2: Walk faster

Sure, there are times when a leisurely stroll is more appropriate. Your dog does need time to stop and smell the roses (perhaps literally), and both you and your canine companion might not always have the energy for anything more. However, you don’t always have to walk at a slow pace, as the faster your walk, the more effort your dog will put in, and consequently, their level of fitness will improve. You might even consider jogging too if both you and your dog can manage the extra speed. Of course, if you or your dog starts to have difficulty breathing after an exerted bout of exercise, do stop and take a breather, and if necessary, slow down your pace on the rest of your walk together.

#3: Let your dog off his leash

You should only do this when it’s safe to do so, of course, so no letting your dog off his leash in a public area or in places of danger, such as near a main road. Rather, take your dog to a piece of land where he is free to roam around and exercise his legs and muscles further, such as at a field or on the beach. This will give them the opportunity to run around without restrictions, and it will give you a chance to go for a run unrestricted too, assuming you are fit and able to do so.  This will also give you time and space to focus on the next point.

#4: Spend time playing with your dog

This is a great way to both increase your dog’s level of fitness and to boost their enjoyment level while doing so. And the same applies to you, of course. When you’re out and about, and your dog is off his leash, there are loads of games you could play with them. Fetch is an obvious example, be it with a frisbee, stick, or ball, but you might also play hide and seek, go on a treat hunt, or play tug-of-war with an old piece of rope. There are some other game ideas here. To ensure your dog puts in a little more effort, you might also play in hilly areas, as the changes in the environment will flex his joints and muscles to a greater degree. You can also play some of these games outside in your garden or yard if you have one, so as well as walking your dog 2-3 times a day, spend a little extra time with them at home in play activities.

#5: Give your dog more freedom at home

When we say freedom, we aren’t telling you to let them jump on your sofa, sleep in your bed, or help themselves to the food in your refrigerator. Rather, we are asking you to give them more freedom to move around at home. So, you might let them have a little more access to the house than normal, as this will give them scope to stroll around at home, even when you’re not around. You might also consider a dog flap, ensuring you get the right size for big dogs if you have a larger canine companion, as this will give them the opportunity to venture out into your yard or garden for a longer and more extensive stroll around; again, useful for when you’re at work or away during the day.

#6: Enable opportunities for agility training

There might be an agility course near you, so do your research online to discover more. However, you can also set up an agility training course in your yard or garden, using the objects you have at your disposal to create obstacles and pathways for your dog to weave in and out of, perhaps with healthy treats along the way to keep them moving in the right direction. Not only are agility courses great for developing muscle coordination in your dog, but they are a lot of fun too, and an excellent way to mix up your dog’s exercise routine.

And Finally…

In both the short and the long-term, you will boost your dog’s health and their happiness levels if you take steps to improve their physical fitness. And as we have said within the article, the same applies to you, so for the benefit of both you and your four-legged friend, find ways to exercise more today and in the days and weeks to come. You would be barking mad not to!

Thanks for reading!

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Truffles The Sow Gets Her Own 3D Printed Micro Pig!

Truffles, a 6-year old black sow, who loves nothing better than having a good stroke, has become the mascot for Rochdale-based pig rescue charity, Pig Inn Heaven (www.piginnheaven.co.uk)  

Arty Lobster (https://artylobster.com),  3D pet sculpture specialists, chose friendly and lovable Truffles as the perfect candidate for a complementary ‘micro’ version of herself to help raise awareness of pigs in rescue. Although Truffles has now found her forever home, her sculpture will serve as the charity’s ‘mascot’.

Janet Deveraux, Secretary of Pig Inn Heaven, said: “We love the 3d printed sculpture of Truffles; this little pig is the best sort of micro pig!”

The charity is constantly raising awareness of the issue of ‘micro’ pigs which look cute and small as piglets but are anything but ‘micro’ when they grow up. The issue is leading to fully grown micro pigs being abandoned by owners who can’t cope with their pets.

Janet said: “Truffles came from a home where the landlord said she could no longer stay. Unlike many pigs in our charge, she was looked after very well by her previous owner. She has now found her forever home, but we have 60 plus other pigs waiting for new homes, as well as turtles and terrapins.

“We have rescued pigs from flats, terraced houses, outside space which is too small, and roaming the streets in towns where they have been dumped. Anyone thinking of getting a pig please visit our sanctuary first as part of your research, you need to be able to look after a pig for a long time, the life span of a pig is between 10 to 20 years.

“It is very important to do your research in advance, if you are told from a breeder that a pig only grows as big as a Labrador please take into account that a pig also grows wider, longer and stronger than a Labrador and in a lot of cases bigger in height.

Lars B Andersen, Founder and MD of Arty Lobster, said: “We chose Truffles because of her lovable, but slightly cheeky, looks. She’s a wonderful character and we wanted to put that across in her 3D sculpture. Her sculpture has already become a talking point at the charity, and if it can help in even a small way to raise awareness, that will be worthwhile.”

To give a Pigs Inn Heaven pig a home, the charity charges a fee of £400 per pig – this covers the initial veterinary health check and the first month of care.

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Three Puppies Dumped in ‘Filthy’ Box

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Peanut, Butter and Jelly are now being cared for while RSPCA investigates

The RSPCA is investigating after three puppies were found dumped in a box in County Durham just days before Easter.

A man found the puppies in a red and white box in an alley off Grainger Street, Darlington, on Thursday night (18 April).

RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson went out to collect the puppies. She said: “The man was walking past when he heard a squeaking noise coming from the box and went to investigate. Thank goodness he did because inside he found the tiny terrier puppies.

“He said he’d walked past this location not long before and the box hadn’t been there so we believe they’d just been abandoned.

“The puppies were inside the box which was filthy with faeces and urine.”

Inspector Wilson took the pups to a local vets for a check-up where they’re now being cared for. They’re believed to be between four and five-weeks-old. The two black and white puppies are female and the brown and white puppy is a male.

“They are very dirty and smelly and are riddled with worms so they’ll need a good bath and flea and worm treatment at the vets,” Inspector Wilson added. “The two girls also have suspected hernias.”

The puppies – now named Peanut, Butter and Jelly – are being fostered by one of the vet nurses over the Bank Holiday Weekend. Once they’re old enough and well enough they will be rehomed.

Inspector Wilson added: “I’d like to appeal to anyone who may have CCTV in this area or any witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously around this location to get in touch. I’d also like to hear from anyone who recognises the puppies or may have information on where they’ve come from.

“These pups are too young to leave their mother and I dread to think what would have happened if they hadn’t been found so quickly.

“I’d also be concerned about their mother’s welfare so I’d like to follow up any enquiries as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing animals in need like Peanut, Butter and Jelly please donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.

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How To Plan For Your Pets If You Die Before Them…

Nobody wants to think about their death but with almost half of UK adults* owning a pet, it’s essential that we consider who will take care of them and how they will be provided for after we die.

April is National Pet Month and Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP (GBLF) is raising awareness of what happens to pets when their owners die. Recently, it has been revealed that millionaire fashion icons Karl Lagerfield and Alexander McQueen both left substantial amounts of money behind for their companions, whereas it has also been reported that Oprah Winfrey has plans to leave round $30m to her dogs. But what about does this mean for the everyday pet owner?

Here, Hannah Moffett, who is part of the Wills, Trusts and Probate team at GBLF, has some advice for worried pet owners about what would happen to their beloved pet if they were to die before they do.

What happens to my pet should I die?

UK law regards a deceased person’s pets as Personal Chattels which are defined by the Administration of Estate Acts 1925. If specific provisions for what should happen to a person’s pets are not made within their Will, their pets shall legally form part of their estate as a Personal Chattel and will pass to their residuary beneficiary.

Pets are considered property under the law, so like all personal assets, proactive steps should be taken to help settle your affairs after you die. Pet owners can also make sure that the person accepting responsibility of the pet will receive a pecuniary legacy (cash gift) from their Will.

Owners can also stipulate that should their pet have predeceased them, the pecuniary legacy will no longer be applicable as the pet has died. It is always advisable to ask the person who the pet would be left to if they would be willing to look after the pet upon the owner’s death.

What if they are unable or don’t want to look after my pet after my death?

Should they refuse after the owner’s death, once again, the pet would form part of its owner’s estate and pass to the residuary beneficiary. It may be that the owner is leaving their estate to a certain person but do not wish to leave their pet to them and they have no other person who they trust.

Is it essential to include my pet within my estate?

For people who would prefer their pet not to form part of their estate, it is a good idea for them to stipulate in their Will who will take over ownership. Pet owners should provide the name of a designated person to the pet’s caregiver so that person will be able to continue medical care for the pet after the owner’s death.

In this instance, owners could consider including in their Will that they wish to leave their pet to a particular Pet Charity for rehoming. They could also include a pecuniary legacy to pass to the charity should they so wish. It would be advisable that the owner contacts their considered Pet Charity to ensure they do offer a rehoming programme.

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Missing Dog Alert: Obie

BREED:                   Weimaraner

SEX:                        Male


FINDER’S FEE:      Yes

2-year-old Weimaraner, Obie lives with his mum Lyndi, dad Darren, his three best friends
Oscar, Evie and Archie who are 11, 10 and 7 and the family’s other dog Stewie in Bosham in West Sussex.

The family, who are currently building a new home live in a static caravan on the grounds of the new build so while Darren is working on the new house, Obie normally had free reign to wander the grounds as he never really leaves his mum or dad’s side.

On 11th December 2018, Lyndi an Aeronautical Operations Controller for the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopters had just finished a nightshift so was sleeping in the caravan with their other dog Stewie.

Darren let Obie out to have a run around with him whilst he was working on the house; something that they had done numerous times before however at about 10:30am Darren went back to the caravan, as he couldn’t find Obie and presumed that he had gone back to bed. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Obie never wandered and never went far without Stewie so the couple knew that there was something wrong immediately.

The driveway to the house leads to a country lane, Newells Lane, and it is believed that for some reason, Obie must have made his way to the top of the drive when Darren wasn’t looking and it is believed that this is where he was picked up. Obie is an extremely friendly and trusting dog and the family confirm that he would have unfortunately jumped in anyone’s car.

The family searched for weeks, taking Stewie out with them but there have been no sightings of their handsome boy and they are truly bereft without him.

The couple’s children have been especially affected by Obie’s disappearance as they’ve grown up with Obie and they are desperately missing him. They don’t understand why an adult would steal their very best friend – in fact their youngest was convinced that Santa was going to bring him back.

Initially, it was very difficult for Lyndi to get the local police to register Obie as stolen. They stated that there was no proof he had been taken as there was no CCTV footage.

However, there had been no reported accidents involving a dog, the Highways Agency and Network Rail also confirmed that there had been no fatalities and given the search took place very soon after Obie was last seen they eventually agreed that it was a highly likely Obie had become another horrendous statistic of dog theft.

Lyndi said: “Our lives have changed since the 11th December, every day we desperately hope to hear news; it’s on our minds constantly. It’s a horrendous feeling; worrying about him, Where is he? Who is he with? Is he being looked after properly? Is he missing us? Does he think we’ve abandoned him? It’s like living in a permanent nightmare.

“I spend every spare second I can trawling adverts, dog lost sites, dog found sites, rescue centres etc and those images haunt me too.

“I would like to plead with anybody, if they think they know anything at all to please, please get in touch; there is a substantial finder’s fee for his safe return or information leading to his safe return”

Obie has a very distinct black mark on the pupil of his right eye; he is microchipped and was wearing a collar on the day he went missing.

If anyone has any information relating to Obie’s case or knows where he is, please do contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220, quoting dog ID 138042


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Thinking of Travelling Overseas With Your Pet This Year?

Join Deborah Elliott, Head of Pet Travel from Eurotunnel LIVE to get all your questions answered ahead of planning your holidays
this year.

Show date: Thursday 18th April

Show time: 11am BST

We are a nation of dog lovers, April marks National Pet Month and with the weather finally starting to take a warmer turn, many of us are thinking about getting abroad with our furry friends.

Who better to advise than Deborah Elliot, Head of Pet Travel from Eurotunnel, who has overseen over two million dogs popping across to Europe for their holidays.

In this show, EuroTunnel will be answering all your questions and laying out exactly what you need to ensure your holiday with your pet goes smoothly. From how to get a apply for a pet passport, to how to keep your pets relaxed on a car journey, we will cover it all.

We’ll even have a look at “petiquette”, useful pet phrases, and the low down on on/off lead walks!

You can send your questions in advance of the live show via the question box below, or join the live show on Thursday 18th April.

We’d love to hear where you’re watching the show from, so mention it when you submit your questions. If you have any tips to share send them in using the #Pettravel

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS BELOW & FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets/travelling-with-your-pet/

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RSPCA Rescues Three Cats Every Hour

Charity braces itself for cat crisis as ‘kitten season’ begins

The RSPCA is bracing itself for an influx of cats and kittens as latest figures reveal that on average the charity takes in three cats EVERY HOUR.

Last year (2018) the RSPCA‘s centres and branches took in 28,986 cats and more than 90,000 cats over the last three years. (The graph below shows the number of cats coming into RSPCA care each month.)

Most kittens are typically born between April and September which means during the ‘kitten season’ the charity ends up with large amounts of young cats coming into its care.

July sees the most cats coming into the charity’s centres and branches with 2,622 in 2018, 3,386 in 2017 and 3,143 in 2016 in that month alone.

The charity has also seen a shocking peak in abandonments over the summer period with 58% more cats being dumped in July last year compared to January. (July: 9,691. January 3,990)

Carrie Stones, the RSPCA’s Cat Population Control Manager, said: “With an average of 86 cats coming into our care every day and a peak in the number of abandoned cats reported to us in summer this clearly highlights that the UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis with so many cats ending up in rescue centres.

“We would always urge people to think about the long-term commitment that caring for a cat entails and avoid making a snap decision about whether to take on a cat or kitten, for example from family or friends or buying online.

“Sadly, we see so many litters of kittens dumped like rubbish in the summer months because often owners have made this quick decision and can no longer cope, or the kittens have been an unplanned litter and a shock to the owner of the moggy mum!

“There is no denying that kittens look cute but the reality of caring for them can be hard work, time consuming and costly. We, and other cat and vet organisations, believe the solution to this crisis is to neuter cats from four months old before they can become pregnant and therefore avoiding these unwanted litters.”

Kitten dumped in Costa Coffee toilets:

A kitten who was abandoned in cafe toilets may have been reunited with his mum and littermates thanks to the RSPCA.

The three week old kitten was found abandoned in the toilets of a Costa Coffee in Woodford Green on Saturday, 23 March.

The black kitten who was dumped in a plastic box with a little bit of cat food was too young to be away from his mum. When the cafe staff discovered him in the toilets, they contacted the RSPCA and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) David Eckworth came to the collect the small kitten.

He said: “When kittens are so young often they can need hand-rearing but luckily a foster mum became available at RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital where the kitten was being looked after.”

The mother cat and her litter of three kittens came into the hospital on Monday, 25 March after they were found on the same road as the kitten in Wallers Close. Staff at the hospital suspect they could actually be the same family – now reunited.

Mother cat and kittens rescued from tube station:

Workers called in animal rescuers after spotting a stray cat and her kittens living underneath new escalators at a London Underground station.

A woman contacted the RSPCA shortly before 5pm on Wednesday, March 20, after spotting the black and white puss and her four tiny kittens under the escalator at the new HS2 line at Moorgate Tube Station which is under construction.

Animal welfare officer (AWO) Siobhan Trinnaman rushed to the scene to help the feline family. She managed to rescue the kittens, who were just a few days old and still had their eyes closed, and later their mum was also rescued and are now at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey.

The moggy mum was wearing a collar but isn’t microchipped.

Kittens dumped in cardboard box near bins:

Four kittens were found after they were “dumped like rubbish” in a cardboard box and left at the side of some bins.

The shocking discovery was made by a woman on Scafell Drive, Birmingham, on Wednesday March 6. She saw the box by some bins near to Wyrley House block of flats and as she walked past she noticed it move.

Inside were four black and white kittens – who are believed to be around ten-weeks-old.

ACO Cara Gibbon rushed the two female and two male cats to the Coventry branch of the RSPCA for care.

She said: “It is awful to think these kittens were just dumped like rubbish and left by the side of some bins. It is just lucky that the lady saw the box they were in moving and cared enough to investigate.”

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Missing Dog Alert: Bear

BREED: Irish Greyhound

SEX: Male




Bear, a 4-year old Irish Greyhound is a typical greyhound – loves the laid back life and was often found, paws-up on his own sofa. He shared his home with owner Ashton and Ashton’s partner and
their other dog, who they were fostering until a forever home could be found.

On the 4th February, this year, Bear or Beardy Bear as he was affectionately called, was on his usual sofa watching the NFL in his usual “upside down position”. During the game, both dogs were let out in to the garden (around 1:30am) for the toilet. Bear never ventured down to the bottom of Ashton’s garden, he always stayed as close to the back door as possible.

When it was time to come in, Ashton opened the door and only the foster dog was at the back door, knowing immediately that this was completely out of character, Ashton called for Bear and there was no response and no sign of him anywhere.

As DogLost hear time and time again – our dogs should be safe in our own gardens.

When asked, Ashton says “These last few weeks have been horrendous; it really is soul-destroying when someone steals your dog. Dogs can’t be “replaced”. Bear is part of my family and I can’t seem to rest while I don’t know where he is”

“Is he being looked after? Is he being hurt? Does he think I’ve just abandoned him?”

Ashton has had the help of the Greyhound Trust from across the West Midlands and they, with the help with their volunteers have conducted regular searches.

“A dog the size of Bear doesn’t just disappear. If he managed to get out of the garden, which given his anxiousness is highly unlikely, and then was sadly involved in a road traffic accident, someone would have found him but no accidents have been reported.”

Bear is very easy to identify. He is microchipped and also tattooed. He has been neutered so he can’t be bred from. When he went missing he was wearing a blue collar with a red light on it.

“Someone needs to bring my boy back, he isn’t part of anyone’s family other than mine” Ashton says.

“If you found him, took him in thinking he’s a stray then thank you for looking after him but he isn’t a stray – he is loved and missed every day and if you took him from my garden then please try to find it in your heart to return him to me. He’s not going to make you a lot of money if you are planning to sell him on, but to me he is priceless”

If you have any information relating to Bear’s theft or you know where he is, please contact DogLost directly on 0844 800 3220.


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Breaking News: Brexit to be Decided by Larry, the Downing Street Cat

BREXIT will be decided at midnight tonight with the help of Larry the Downing Street cat.

Exhausted government officials have turned to the resident feline to make a decision one way or another after agreeing they would never agree.

A cat-flap has been installed in the door of Number 10. If Larry walks out more often than he goes back in during the course of the day, Britain will leave the EU with no deal. If he goes back in more often – or chooses not to venture out at all – we’re staying.

No one in Government is sure where the idea came from, although rumours suggest officials learned from French Brexit Minister Nathalie Loiseau, who decided to call her cat Brexit after watching him wrestle with indecision.

She said: “He wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out. When I open the door he stays in the middle, undecided and then gives me evil looks when I put him out.” (source: Le Journal du Dimanche, March 2019).

But Larry, being British and assisted with a Union Jack ‘Le Brexit’ cat flap surround designed by Glamflaps International, is expected to be more decisive than his French cousin.

A Whitehall source, said: “It’s an obvious solution really and I can’t think why it’s taken us so long. Larry knows his own mind and doesn’t tolerate rats anywhere near Whitehall – the exact opposite of what goes on in Parliament.

“As a bonus, he’s respected and the public likes him.”

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