Australia mouse plague: ‘Napalm’ is not going to be used to sort out rodents over wider wildlife issues


Despite fears that Australia’s month-long mouse plague has already caused over $ 1 billion in losses, using a poison called “napalm for mice” is not a solution, a government agency said.

Last month, the New South Wales government filed an urgent motion for the controversial poison bromadiolone to be used in the ongoing battle against the millions of mice that wreak widespread agricultural havoc and harm the state.

However, the application was denied by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) due to safety and environmental concerns.

The multitude of poisons that have already been used to eradicate the biblical tides from mice – an invasive species in Australia – have already harmed native species, including birds such as galahs and pigeons, as well as fish.

The use of stronger poisons has raised concerns about the build-up of toxins in the food chain that could affect humans.


NSW Secretary of Agriculture Adam Marshall said the state government applied for approval for the controversial poison as part of a $ 50 million effort to rid farmers of the mice.

“It will be the equivalent of napalming mice in rural NSW,” he said last month.

In response to the APVMA’s decision, Mr. Marshall said he was “disappointed” but would respect the decision.

APVMA executive director Lisa Croft said. “Before APVMA can approve an application, we have to be sure that it is safe, that it works and that it does not prevent our farmers from selling their products abroad.”

“The main concern of APVMA is environmental safety, especially with regard to animals that eat mice.

“Although APVMA intends to reject this particular application, we have approved six additional emergency applications to give farmers additional mouse control options,” she said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The mouse explosion, which began nine months ago, was fueled by a long dry spell followed by wet weather spells, which provided them with ample food and boosted their rapid reproductive cycle.

This week, the mice evacuated 420 prisoners from a New South Wales prison after thousands of mice chewed through blankets and cables, turned off electricity and caused appalling smells after their bodies began to rot in wall cavities.

Mice have only been around in Australia for around 250 years – brought by British ships – but since then have been breeding and reproducing due to a lack of natural enemies and a huge agricultural boom in the 20th century.