Australia plots biological warfare to eradicate rampaging ‘mouse plague’

J. Smyth,  Financial Times,  2021.

Australia is home to some of the world’s most fearsome creatures. But none is more destructive than the humble house mouse, a plague of which is rampaging across vast swaths of farmland and terrorising countryfolk. Farmers in New South Wales, the worst affected state, warned the furry critters could cost them A$1bn ($765m) in lost crops and poison baits this season. Residents in rural towns have been fighting a six-month battle against the army of wild house mice, which has gnawed through wiring on home appliances, polluted water supplies and even bitten patients in hospital beds. Scientists said the plague was bolstered by favourable weather conditions after years of drought and the nation’s second biggest grain harvest on record. State authorities have proposed “napalming” the mice by allowing farmers to use the poison bromadiolone against the mice, which has ignited a furious debate over its environmental impact.

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