Fear of mouse return prompts bait reminder


Farmers and small businesses affected by the recent mouse plague are being encouraged to apply for their share of millions in rebates from the state government as fears grow of a surge in numbers.

Reports the mice were set to return in autumn were a cause for concern for affected communities, and NSW Farmers Vice President Xavier Martin said farmers had to get on top of the numbers early.

“The chew cards are showing us there’s still a lot of mouse activity about, and once the grains harvest is done we’ll have the perfect conditions for a repeat of last year,” Mr Martin said.

“We all need to do our part to get the mice under control.”

Earlier this year NSW Farmers secured a $150 million package from the NSW Government after intense lobbying, with estimates the mouse plague would chew a billion-dollar hole in the farmgate value of winter crops. A NSW Farmers survey found a third of respondents estimated losses between $50,000 and $150,000, with a loss of stored grain and fodder having the greatest financial impact.

The NSW Government’s Mouse Bait Support Package for zinc phosphide baiting is open until December 17, and Mr Martin said eligible farmers should apply sooner than later.

“We have been working with the state government and the Rural Assistance Authority to make these rebates available, but we haven’t had enough applications comes through yet,” Mr Martin said.

“If you’re eligible you can get up to $10,000 to cover 50 per cent of the cost of zinc phosphide baits purchased. 
 
“NSW Farmers has been sharing our members’ feedback on the program with the RAA and they’ve made it easier to apply, so now it’s up to us to make those applications.

“It’s also important you don’t self-assess – if you bought baits you need to apply, and if you’re having trouble getting approved give the RAA a call.”

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.

Date:
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Media Contact: Stephen Mudd  | 0429 011 690 | mudds@nswfarmers.org.au