POLICE at one of Scotland’s largest police headquarters are having to go without hot meals after a mouse infestation hit their canteen.
Hot dishes are off the menu at Lothian and Borders Police headquarters in Fettes, Edinburgh until the mouse infestation is dealt with.
Pest eradicators have been called in to clear the rodents from the canteen, which was refurbished in 2009 at a cost of £95,000.
The building houses around 350 officers and civilian staff, who have had to make do with packaged sandwiches for about a week.
One user said: “It’s funny, but not really embarrassing for us as it’s privately run. They put a message round saying it would be closed off for an unknown length of time.
“Apparently, there was initially a problem with the gas.
“It had been closed off since the start of the week and will stay closed until they get the mice under control.
“The canteen is used by all staff at headquarters and visitors. It’s quite a big place and well used.”
Catering provider Sodexo, which is contracted by the force to run the canteen, confirmed the mouse hunt was under way.
A spokeswoman said: “As a precautionary measure, food is not being served in the canteen.
“Only packaged food such as sandwiches is available.”
Lothian and Borders’ St Leonard’s police station, in the south of Edinburgh, is kept mouse-free with the help of Tiggy, a ginger tom.
He was lauded with a CID badge of commendation by the force when he died in 2009 at the age of 20.
The force said the police community cat was a ‘faithful and dedicated servant to the station, providing companionship through even the loneliest of night shifts, and his mice detection skills were second to none.’
Last year it emerged schools in Edinburgh had been hit by mouse infestations so frequently pest controllers wer eebing called out every day.
In total, extermination teams were called out 625 times over a three year period.
Worst affected was Tynecastle High, which had 44 call-outs for wasps, rats, mice, ants and fleas.
Holyrood High, which sits just a mile and a half from the Scottish Parliament, was also badly affected requiring 23 call-outs to deal with ants, mice and wasps.
Other infestations included hide beetles, fleas, gulls, bees, squirrels, silverfish, snails, cockroaches and flies.
Mice can spread many diseases including salmonella and the dangerous hantavirus.
The virus can be spread to humans by mice contaminating food or surfaces with urine, droppings or hair.