Pro-Beijing lawmaker Ann Chiang has said that she found that cats are the natural enemies of mice, following “extensive research.”
She expressed her discovery on an RTHK radio talk show on Friday. Earlier in the week, she raised a question at the Legislative Council proposing that squads of feral cats could be enlisted to catch mice in order to address Hong Kong’s rodent infestation problem.
“I have studied and studied – in the end, I realised many countries in the world believe that mice’s natural enemies are cats,” she said. Lawmaker Claudia Mo, who was also on the show, reacted with laughter.
“I have seen a report that said cats have a kind of smell, which mice don’t like. Also cats’ eyes are very powerful – cats can see a lot of things that humans can’t see at night – whatever moves, cats can catch the mice,” she added.
Chiang said she read that there have been programmes involving feral cat teams in Chicago and Washington DC, and a dog squad in Australia which can catch 200 mice in half an hour.
She suggested finding two to three back alleys to test the scheme.
Chiang is not the first to tackle the rodent infestation problem in her Kowloon West constituency.
Lawmaker Priscilla Leung, also of the constituency, earned the nickname “Rat Queen” as she was famous for organising an election publicity event in 2008 to catch mice.
On the radio programme, Chiang said she has known of the problem for a few years and found that “mice lifespans are getting longer and longer.”
She also said shops in wet markets have not been allowed to keep cats since 2006, and many cats have been killed since then, therefore the rodent infestation problem has been worsening.
Claudia Mo, also elected in Kowloon West, said that “everyone knows” mice reproduce quickly and cats catch mice: “There is no need for extensive research.”
Mo said the rodent infestation problem is seen in many districts, which some local residents claim is because of the MTR Sha Tin to Central Link construction project.
She did not agree with putting too much rat poison in places seriously affected by the problem, as it may cause concern for dog owners.