‘They let it turn into a plague’: Farmers unhappy with NSW government response to mouse plague
The New South Wales government announced more help for farmers fighting mouse plague, but farmers were not satisfied.
- NSW government extended reimbursement for farmers’ expenses
- Agriculture Minister blamed NSW Service for ‘bizarre’ initial move
- Farmers say increased aid still not enough given the scale of mouse plague
NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the government would cover farmers’ expenses from February 1 instead of May 13, as initially advised.
Mr Marshall blamed NSW Services for the initial decision to start payments from May, after the issue had been going on for months.
“I just couldn’t believe when NSW Services made an arbitrary decision and put it on their website,” he said.
Farmers still not satisfied
Despite the change, Xavier Martin of the NSW Farmers Association said the rebate was not enough as the baiting had been going on for several months.
Mr Martin welcomed the help to pay for the landowners’ costs in the house and shed, but said it would be of no use in the paddocks due to the scale of the problem and the amount of chemicals used.
“There are 70,000 kilograms per day of zinc phosphide coming out [so] the best part of half a million dollars a day is used, ”he said.
“Individual farmers commit $ 10,000, $ 50,000 and $ 150,000 [in costs] on the bait and still suffering damage to the mouse. “
The mice attacked crops being sown for the winter growing season, Martin said.
“We receive reports where mice have bit the top of the plant or dug the seed along the furrow and [they are] stack the grain around the mouse hole to help them survive the winter. “
Mr. Martin is concerned about the persistent health problems associated with mice.
“We also receive daily reports of people, men and women, hospitalized or outpatient with rodent-related diseases.“