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China's 'Cat Army' Fights Rats

A cat plays on a discarded sofa in a dump in Shenyang in northern China's Liaoning province (file photo)

A remote west China city is rounding up stray cats and putting them to work catching rats that infest pasture lands.

China's official Xinhua news agency says around 150 strays, dubbed by the media as the "cat army," were turned loose on the range lands outside the city of Bole in May to fight what the local government called a plague of rats.

The local government said in late June that rat holes had decreased by more than half.

Rodents and other pests have grown more numerous as a result of overgrazing and killing off natural predators like foxes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.