Page last updated at 00:24 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 01:24 UK

Hawks to scare Holyrood pigeons

Hawk used to chase away pigeons from Whitehall
Hawks are used to chase away pigeons from Whitehall in London

Falconers are being asked to bid for a £40,000 contract to rid the Scottish Parliament of pigeons.

Following a successful month-long trial last year, Holyrood officials are inviting tenders to provide and handle birds of prey to control the problem.

The contract is to scare off the pigeons and to avoid killing them.

Pigeons have plagued the building since it opened in 2004. MSPs have complained that they were entering offices through the ventilation system.

Hawks and falcons are used at Portcullis House - the office building used by MPs at Westminster, and at Hampden Park.

The falcon contract at Holyrood is for a 12-month period, which may be extended for a further two years - a deal thought to be worth £13,000 per year.

Interested businesses have until 22 April to bid for the work.

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