Mouse plague: CWA president calls for 'coordinated plan of attack', overseen by government

Call: CWA NSW president Stephanie Stanhope (right), pictured with CWA CEO Danica Leys, wants to see a coordinated plan of attack to tackle mice. Photo contributed.
Call: CWA NSW president Stephanie Stanhope (right), pictured with CWA CEO Danica Leys, wants to see a coordinated plan of attack to tackle mice. Photo contributed.

Country Women's Association (CWA) of NSW president Stephanie Stanhope has called for "a coordinated plan of attack", overseen by the NSW government, to combat the mouse plague.

She also said the government did not seem to be interested in the plight of people out west, despite the rodents "decimating" fodder stocks and crops and impacting people's health.

The leader of the rural women's body with about 8000 members said support should flow to producers and country communities.

The NSW Farmers and Barwon MP Roy Butler have also called for action previously.

Ms Stanhope told the Daily Liberal on Wednesday the government did not "seem interested in the plight of the people out west".

"While it's occurring out there, they're not really taking much notice of it, because it doesn't impact on lives in urban areas, where most people are," she said.

In an opinion piece published by The Land on Saturday, Ms Stanhope noted the rodents were not only destroying crops and stored hay and grain, but had bitten people in their beds.

"The mouse plague crisis is escalating by the day currently, and is quickly moving from an economic disaster - hard enough to stomach for the producers who have started to emerge from years of drought - to a public health crisis in many rural and regional communities," Ms Stanhope said.

The president said there were reports of dead mice contaminating water storages.

She cited warnings from health authorities about the increased risk of leptospirosis during times of escalated mouse and rat numbers.

"It's time for urgent action from the NSW government to support our producers and our country communities, with eradication costs escalating as farmers throw all their individual resources at the crisis," she said.

"It's time for a coordinated plan of attack, overseen by government, to tackle this plague.

"Financial assistance should also be put on the table for farmers as they spend thousands of dollars each week on aerial and ground baiting assaults, and government should also consider approval for alternative control methods where appropriate.

These farmers and communities need support and to see their leaders understand the devastating economic and public health consequences of this plague, and more importantly, are prepared to show the leadership that's required to address it.

CWA president Stephanie Stanhope

"These farmers and communities need support and to see their leaders understand the devastating economic and public health consequences of this plague, and more importantly, are prepared to show the leadership that's required to address it."