Farmers are being urged to adopt environmentally-friendly pest control - by taking on an out-of-work mouser.
The cat charity Cats Protection will be at the South of England Show at Ardingly from Thursday to Saturday this week promoting the ultimate in rodent control - feral cats.
Cats Protection has feral cats in its care throughout Sussex and Surrey in need of new, outdoor homes such as farms, smallholdings or stables.
The charity says that because the cats have never been domesticated, adult feral felines do not crave or need human affection but do require a safe, warm and dry home in an outdoor setting.
In return for shelter, regular food and fresh water, they provide unrivalled pest control services, keeping barns and animal feed areas clear of rats and mice.
Cats Protection’s events manager Emma Osborne said: “Feral cats offer an effective and environmentally-friendly rodent control service in all sorts of outdoor settings.
“Although they are perfectly content to live outdoors, and do not want or need the companionship of people, they do need a home where they will be provided with food, shelter, water and veterinary care should they need it.
“In return, they will work their socks off and many smallholders, farmers and stable-owners tell us they wouldn’t be without their ferals. We have many out-of-work mousers in our care which desperately need a permanent outdoor home so they can get stuck into their duties.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest feline welfare charity and has 15 branches in Sussex and Surrey. To find out more visit: http://www.cats.org.uk