Mice biting hospital patients, ravaging farms as plague escalates across NSW

Three hospital patients in local New South Wales have actually been bitten by mice as the scary rodent plague escalates.

NSW Health has actually verified the patients were bitten in Tottenham, Walgett and Gulargambone.

“Reports of residents or patients receiving minor bites have been made … and appropriate treatment has been provided,” stated a NSW Health representative.

Western Local Health District has actually gotten one report of a mouse-related health problem understood as lymphocytic choriomeningitis [LCM] in the area.

“The disease is linked to mice but it’s very rare,” stated public health director Priscilla Stanley.

“People described sore. Red eyes are a symptom.

She said she was “shocked … that we have not seen any increased varieties of leptospirosis”.

The hospital incidents underscore how bad the mice plague has become in regional New South Wales.

Farmers seeking emergency poison

Farmers across the state are desperately seeking new rodent control methods to save their winter crops from destruction.

Pest populations have drastically increased and so have reports of them ruining crops, destroying stored hay and invading silos, sheds and homes.

New South Wales Farmers’ Association president James Jackson said urgent action was needed by the state government to control the plague.

“A lever we can pull is with the APVMA [the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority], which is to get an emergency-use license so we can really deal with farmers’ grain that is not sterilised,” Mr Jackson said.

He said the permit would give farmers permission to use the lethal rodenticide known as zinc phosphide to treat their seed.

“[The permit] will lower the expense of the poisoning program and undoubtedly permit to put it on fallow fields,” he stated

Grain growers fear for their winter season crop

Norman Moeris, a farmer in the central west, said his property in Gilgandra was overrun.

“[The mice] have actually done a hell of a great deal of damage to hay that individuals were saving for the next dry spell … silo bags. They are simply destroying them,” Mr Moeris stated.

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Norman Moeris’s Gilgandra residential or commercial property has actually been overrun by mice.(Supplied: Norman Moeris)

Mr Moeris is just one of many farmers calling for an emergency control program to be introduced ahead of the winter crop season, set to commence in just a few weeks.

“We require to manage them now for winter season sowing,” Mr Moeris said.

“We have actually purchased 500 kilos of Mouseoff, and if you put it out when it rains or if we get heavy dew, it’s gone… That’s $4,000 worth.

Tackling the plague an expensive job

In addition to the emergency situation usage license, New South Wales Farmers is likewise looking for monetary support.

“Mouse control is extremely pricey,” Mr Jackson said.

“The severity of the current plague has resulted in the need for multiple aerial and ground bait applications in cropping regions.”

The organisation is requiring a refund on rodenticide items or an aid for ground and aerial baiting.

“I think it’s probably time we have a little bit of input from the government on this one, but we are running out of time as we’re only a few weeks away from planting for some people.”

Reliable control technique still unidentified

NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall states it’s still uncertain if there is a control technique efficient adequate to deal with the plague.

“I have been meeting with NSW farmers frequently on this issue, and at our most recent meeting, they had no clear suggestions on how we can tackle this problem,” Mr Marshall stated.

“Fundamentally, the regulation of what we are able to use against these pests sits with the APVMA. If we don’t have what we need, it needs to be sorted out at a federal level.

“If it depended on me, I would job my department with discovering an off-label option, so our farmers have what they require to combat back.”

Additional reporting: Jen McCutcheon

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