Surely mouse prevention is better than the cure, CWA has its say

Time to look at prevention rather than cure when it comes to rampant mice, CWA has its say

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The CWA says committing funding to halting the mouse problem before it began would have been better than throwing money at it when it was already out of control.

The CWA says committing funding to halting the mouse problem before it began would have been better than throwing money at it when it was already out of control.

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The CWA of NSW says committing funding to halting the mouse problem before it began would have been better than throwing money at it when it was already out of control.

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COMMENT: Country Women's Association of NSW president Danica Leys.

The winter chill has certainly made its presence felt in the past few weeks and it's hoped it may lead to the start of the demise of the devastating mice plague gripping large areas of NSW.

Experts have warned though that it may take some time to see an effect, and in the meantime impacted rural and regional communities continue their efforts to minimise the damage to crops, stored grain and forage, vehicles and machinery, food supplies and homes.

For many it's been unrelenting for months - for some since before Christmas 2020 - and it's taking an enormous toll on finances and physical and mental health.

The stench, clearing of traps, disposing of dead mice, round-the clock cleaning, ongoing efforts to protect farm, business and household assets - unless you're living it, it's probably hard to understand how all-consuming the battle is, and the terrible toll it takes.

For all these reasons, the CWA of NSW was glad to see the NSW Government finally acknowledge the extent of the issue and respond with some meaningful assistance last week.

Free baiting, through free-of-charge grain treatment, and $500 and $1000 rebates for affected rural and town households and small businesses to help them meet the cost of purchasing mouse baits are welcome and an important recognition of the crisis in western NSW.

We do believe that the assistance on offer should have come a lot sooner, and that it may not be enough. - Danica Leys

People are spending thousands on baiting - and losing thousands of dollars in damage caused by the rodents - so assistance, both in terms of information and financial help, is just so important at this time.

We do believe that the assistance on offer should have come a lot sooner, and that it may not be enough.

To that end, we were also pleased to hear government state that if more needs to be done they will respond accordingly.

We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and advocate on behalf of these communities as needed.

The announcement by the government of the formation of an advisory committee to provide advice and information about various aspects of the plague is important, but again, that should have happened months ago, when the plague first registered on the ag industry's radar, and when the committee could have had more of an impact and could have advised the government it needed to act quickly.

The government says it will also commit funds towards research to help develop a biological control for mice. Research is key to minimising the impacts of these plagues, and determining a way to avoid these types of natural disasters altogether would be the holy grail, but it will take a considerable commitment of funding and resources to drive that kind of breakthrough.

For now though, our thoughts are with those struggling under the unrelenting pressures of the mice and we hope the arrival of winter heralds the demise of this devastating plague.

- courtesy of The Land.

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