Farmers and others in rural NSW are seeking help managing an escalating mouse plague that is threatening their health and winter crops.
NSW Farmers is calling for urgent action from the state government as farmers across many parts of regional NSW unite report dramatic increase in mouse populations.
As another sign of how bad the plague is, NSW Health has confirmed that three patients have been bitten by mice in regional hospitals.
« There have been reports of residents or patients who received minor bites … and adequate treatment was provided, « a NSW Health spokesperson told ABC on Thursday.
The extent of the upset stomach of the problem is shown in this NSW Young Farmers video posted in published on social media:
James Jackson, President of NSW Farmers, said grain farmers had serious concerns about it h the winter planting season, which should start within weeks.
“Farmers need more control options. We are calling for an emergency permit for zinc phosphide to be used to treat seeds, « Jackson said on Wednesday.
» This allows farmers to have their own grain professionally treated, which removes the biosecurity risks of using foreign seeds.
« It will also reduce the cost of sourcing sterilized or de-vitalized grain from farmers who use their own treated seeds to sow for winter crops. »
Norman Moeris, a farmer in the central West New South Wales, described the plague on his property in Gilgandra as « like grasshoppers on the ground. »
« [The mice] did a hell of a lot of damage to the hay people were storing for the next drought … Silo bags. You’re just destroying it, « Moeris told ABC.
» We bought 500 kilos of mouseoff and if you put it out in the rain or if we get heavy dew, it’s gone … that’s worth $ 4,000 « , he said.
« The severity of the current plague has resulted in the need for multiple air and ground bait applications in growing areas, » said Jackson.
« Possible options we offer are a discount on rodenticide products or a subsidy for ground and air bait. Action is required now. This mouse situation is getting worse and worse. “
Reports of mouse damage have come from farmers and rural communities in the north, south and central-west of New South Wales.
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