Mice ‘rain from sky’ in Australia as rodent plague continues

Mice ‘rain from sky’ in Australia as rodent plague continues
New South Wales associations seek financial support for farmers

Video filmed on a farm in Australia has shown mice raining down from machinery during one of the worst rodent plagues in years.

農民 in the state of ニューサウスウェールズ州 (NSW) have have pleaded for financial support from the local government to combat what they warned amounted to a “natural disaster”

NSW Farmers and the Country Women’s Association called on NSW’s agriculture minister to provide each farm with $25,000 (£13,800) towards the cost of bait.

It comes after an emergency permit was granted to allow double-strength bait to be used, following research by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Thirty per cent of farmers have already spent between $20,000 (£11,050) そして $150,000 (£82,850) on pest control measures, according to a NSW Farmers survey.

Pete Arkle, the chief executive of NSW Farmers, said the state should pay half the costs of mouse baits.

“It’s a small portion of the cost that commercial grain producers are investing to drop マウス baits out of planes," 彼は言った.

Mr Arkle added his organisation had “grave concerns” that a mild and wet winter would only exacerbate the problem.

しかしながら, NSW environment minister Adam Marshall suggested the state could not afford to help. “The proposal that I’ve read in media reports would cost anywhere between $600-700 百万. After spending nearly $4.5 billion in drought support, I don’t have that money on my fingertips,逃げるようなことはありませんでした ABC.

This position was confirmed by Gladys Berejiklian, the NSW premier, who acknowledged the problem but distanced her government from responsibility for it.

“We are doing everything we can but there is only so much we can do, it’s nature at the end. One of my colleagues joked there’s a lot of fat snakes out there at the moment. We can’t pretend to be able to fix what is a natural disaster,」と彼女は言った 2GB radio.

Hundreds of thousands of mice have been causing extensive destruction to crops and stored grain in eastern オーストラリア ここ数ヶ月で.

Videos posted on social media illustrate the scale of the problem, with live and dead rodents shown falling out of farm machinery.

ルーシーサックレイ, NS ABC ジャーナリスト, shared one of these clips on Twitter. “Even if grain’s in silos, mice can get to it. Like Tyler Jones discovered in Tullamore when cleaning out the auger and it started raining mice,」と彼女は書いた.

Lisa Minogue, a farmer from Barmedman, central NSW, said she had done 38 loads of washing in just three days because of the rodent infestation. “The smell is horrific. You can pick up all the mice you see but there is always more," 彼女は言いました.

Experts have expressed their concern for the mental health impact of the crisis. 先月, Dr Gene Hodgins, a psychologist at Charles Sturt University, said he had seen evidence of chronic stress among NSW residents.

“They’re talking about problems sleeping, problems relaxing, financial issues because of the impact of the plague on businesses or on farming practices, and lowered mood," 彼が言った ABC Radio Sydney.