Australia has ordered poison from India to counter an infestation of mice that is wreaking havoc in regional New South Wales.
Australia is facing a plague epidemic from Toowoomba in Queensland to the border between NSW and Victoria.
The infestation of mice has left the farmers worried as the shipment of Zinc Phosphide – a chemical used to make mouse baits is yet to arrive from India.
Office of the NSW agriculture minister Adam Marshall told NRI Affairs that seven Australian manufacturers import Zinc Phosphide from India to make the baits that kill rats.
Australian Financial Review reports that the shipment is running late because of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, as a ‘major supplier in India desperately tries to find replacements for workers who are either dead, terribly ill or busy caring for sick family.’
Meanwhile, the NSW Government has secured 5,000 litres of bromadiolone, one of the world’s strongest mice-killing chemicals.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the anti-coagulant bromadiolone had been sourced locally, which meant distribution to primary producers could begin within days of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) approval.
“As soon as the Commonwealth’s APVMA gives us the approval to use bromadiolone for baiting crop perimeters, we can start to distribute it out through our treatment stations absolutely free of charge to farmers,” Mr Marshall said in a statement.
“Five thousand litres will treat approximately 95 tonnes of grain. By securing a local supply of the chemical, we ensure the NSW Government is ready to roll – no waiting for overseas shipments, no immediate supply issues.”
Australia has been battling the mice plague for several months. The recent wet weather helped produce the country’s biggest-ever grain crop and provided ample food to the mice.