Courts in battle with legions of pests

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SCOTLAND’S courtrooms are dealing with an invasion of pests, according to official new figures.

More than £10,000 has been spent dealing with rats, mice, insects and birds in courts over the past five years.

And the problem seems to be getting worse with 41 pest call-outs in 2011 compared with 15 the previous year and just eight in 2009.

Photo:Roger McLassus

Courts spent thousands dealing with pests  Photo:Roger McLassus

Edinburgh Sheriff Court emerges from the figures as the most pest-infested, spending 10% of the national total on eradicating bugs and rodents.

Figures released under Freedom of Information reveal that a total of £4,617 was spent in 2011 by Scottish courts trying to kill off pests, more than double the £2,000 spent the previous year.

Bosses at Edinburgh Sheriff Court called in pest control 14 times over the past five years, spending £1,141 to deal with rodents, insects and birds.

Glasgow Sheriff Court called out pest controllers ten times at a cost of £1,320, including bird-proofing the building.

Glasgow’s Justiciary courts – which house the city’s High Court – had to be sprayed for insects seven times over the last five years.

The High Court in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile had to have rodents disposed of in May 2011.

A spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Court Service has procedures in place to deal with issues of pest control which include preventative measures.

“We do not consider there is any particular concern with pest control in our buildings.”

In June last year officials at Cupar sheriff court looked on in amazement as a bat flew around a courtroom.

The bat, which is protected under law so cannot be eradicated like a pest, eventually landed on a law book in the principal sheriff’s chambers.

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