Farmers in eastern Australia can look forward to a good harvest this year after years of severe drought. After all, it has rained high enough lately. However, as the grain grew, another problem grew: New South Wales has been grappling with its worst rat plague in nearly 40 years. Rodents destroy crops, bite people, and transmit disease.
The state is now offering farmers and producers a financial aid equivalent to about 32 million euros, state Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall told the 2GB radio station on Thursday.
This is intended to compensate for losses incurred as a result of the damage, and small businesses and families should also receive discounts for purchasing traps and poisons. Farmers are supposed to receive free toxic chemical bait to “fight this pest”.
“We haven’t seen a pandemic of this size since the early 1980s, and everyone was hoping that the cold winter conditions would reduce the rat population,” Marshall said. “Until now, nothing has been accomplished.”
The plague was no longer just a matter of cereal producers. Instead, people’s mental health is now suffering, and businesses and entire towns are affected.
The poison so far blocked should help
He announced that he wanted approval for a previously banned poison. So-called bromadialone is the “strongest mouse poison” one can get in the world. According to the minister, “Like using napalm against mice.” An epidemic of rodents has occupied farmers and authorities in the state for months.
From early January to late April, 23 cases of leptospirosis were reported to the state health department. It is a rare disease that can lead to kidney failure and meningitis – it is most often transmitted through mice. According to the Australian news agency AAP, 11 cases were recorded in the whole of 2020.