Potential mouse plague raises $150 million to stop the vermin coming back

Warnings about the potential onset of a mouse plague in s[ting 2021 has justified the advocacy work of NSW Farmers in securing a $150 million state government support package.

The CSIRO is advising farmers in NSW to get out of the ute to monitor paddocks and bait cards as predictive modelling forecasts showed a high risk of a mouse outbreak in spring.

NSW Farmers Vice President Xavier Martin said mouse activity is already on the increase in some areas, according to the latest Mouse Update from the CSIRO and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

“The August update states that mouse numbers are moderate to high in parts of the Central West and highly variable in northern NSW, with serious concerns about the impact on chickpea crops,” Mr Martin said.

“I am starting to see increased activity on my own farm, and I am hearing the same from a lot of Members.”

“NSW Farmers is encouraging farmers to apply for the zinc phosphide bait rebate of up to $10,000 per farm business through the Rural Assistance Authority website. Applications are open until 17 December and a claim can be made retrospectively for bait costs incurred back to January 2021.”

“NSW Farmers have advocated tirelessly for this financial support since February and along with the CWA of NSW, pursued a shared responsibility in combatting this plague, resulting in $150million worth of mouse plague support packages announced by the NSW Government.” 

“We do continue to call on the reallocation of funds not used for the defunct bromadiolone baiting scheme to be put into Mouse Bait Rebate Package. The mouse plague of 2021 is clearly not over and farmers will need all the support they can get.”

NSW Rural Assistance Authority will administer the rebate program.  For more information about the zinc phosphide rebate program visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au. For information about household and small business rebates visit www.nsw.gov.au/mice.

Farmers can access the CSIRO/GRDC August Mouse Update report at www.feralscan.org.au/mousealert or via https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/mouse-management.