Larry the Cat had the best response to government almost ordering a cat extermination

Larry the Cat had the best response to government almost ordering a cat extermination
Ukrainian ambassador plays with Larry the cat outside 10 Downing Street

Larry the Cat’s parody Twitter account had the best reaction to the revelation that ministers considered a cat cull during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thousands of leaked WhatsApp messages sent and received by the then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock have revealed some surprising new information, including the fact that ministers considered killing every cat in Britain at the start of the pandemic.

The extermination measure was once discussed amid fears that domestic animals spread the virus – a hypothesis that, thankfully for millions of pets, turned out not to be proven.

Former health minister Lord Bethell told Channel 4 News: “What we shouldn’t forget is how little we understood about this disease. There was a moment we were very unclear about whether domestic pets could transmit the disease.

“In fact, there was an idea at one moment that we might have to ask the public to exterminate all the cats in Britain. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had wanted to do that?

“And yet, for a moment there was a bit of evidence around that so that had to be investigated and closed down.”

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One cat that would have been affected is 10 Downing Street’s cat Larry, who has lived at the premises since 2011.

A parody account for the 15-year-old Tabby reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: “Hard not to take this personally.”

Another person said: “28 per cent of households in the UK have a cat in the house. I suspect the chances of Lord Bethell having made it to the end of April 2020 would have been slim to nil.”

Among other leaked messages, it was revealed Hancock asked former chancellor George Osborne, who was the then editor of the Evening Standard, for a front page splash in order to meet his testing targets.

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