Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous animals. But there is nothing more destructive than a starving mouse, whose plague is spreading in many fields and threatening the rural population.
Farmers in New South Wales, the worst-affected government, have warned that wool miners will spend $ 1bn ($ 765m) on lost farms and toxic bait this season. Residents in rural towns have been fighting a six-month war against a group of wild mice, which have sought to connect home appliances, sewage and bitten patients in hospital beds.
Scientists say the plague was exacerbated by bad weather over the years drought and the second largest harvest in the country recorded.
Authorities have suggested that “napalming” mice allow farmers to use the poison bromadiolone against mice, which has led to angry environmental issues.
The $ 50m mouse trailer package unveiled this week includes plans for gene drive technology to eliminate mice, wildlife that arrived in Australia in Group One.
“Mice are everywhere. He bit the wires on the dishwasher a few weeks ago and caused flooding, “said Xavier Martin, a wheat farmer living near Gunnedah, a town in northeastern New South Wales.” on the walls. “
He also said that the epidemic threatens its winter crops and the health of farmers, who have been affected by drought, fire, floods and Covid-19 in recent years.
Martin, vice-president of the NSW Farmers’ Association, said he had refused to use bromadiolone on the grounds that it could kill wild mammals that ate dead mice through secondary poisoning.
However, the NSW government has sought a “speedy approval” from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for farmers to use bromadiolone, a lethal toxin that stops blood clotting.
“It will be like rats in a NSW village,” said Adam Marshall, NSW’s agriculture minister.
Rat shows full of wheat stalls, fields and houses have raised political stakes in the state government. Not only is the plague of rats cost the farmers a lot of money but it also threatens human health.
“No one forgets about mice disease,” says Steve, a mouse specialist at the Australian scientific research institute. “They enter your home, your closet, your bed and your home – wherever you go.”
Mice urine can transmit deadly diseases to humans, including leptospirosis and lymphocytic choriomeningitus, which can lead to infections similar to meningitis, he added.
For Terry and Nicole Klante, farmers living near Dubbo in New South Wales, the vulnerability of their children and colleagues to the disease is critical.
“Everything in our copies is really affected by mice so we have to say it over and over to our colleagues to wash their hands because the possibility of infection is in everything we do,” Nicole said.
Although they catch and kill thousands of mice every day, he said.
Mice breed rapidly. Only two mice can produce 500 offspring in a breeding season, which usually lasts from summer to autumn, says Henry.
Predicting how long a mouse disease will last is difficult because it can be abruptly eradicated by disease, malnutrition, and predation.
“When food is scarce mice begin to infect the sick and weak, they eat small mice and people become extinct very quickly,” says Henry.