Victory: NSW Government Invests in Humane Mice Control!

PETA Australia,  PETA Australia,  2021.

Just two weeks after calling us “brainless” for suggesting that the state government invest in more ethical, eco-friendly methods of mice control – Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced a $1.8 million package to “fast-track the delivery of next generation ‘gene drive’ technology to control future plagues”. The money will fund a three-year programme of genetic biocontrol research, led by the University of Adelaide, CSIRO, and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, to identify fast-acting gene drives designed to spread an inherited characteristic through a population. The research will test two strategies for population control, including an approach which eliminates sperm carrying the X chromosome, producing more male than female offspring, and a second approach of making female mice infertile. PETA has been talking about immunocontraception methods of controlling invasive animal populations for years, so we’re pleased to see the government is finally using science to tackle this problem in a more ethical and eco-friendly manner. Had it acted sooner, millions of small animals, including non-target species, would have been spared slow and agonising deaths. Last month, the New South Wales government announced it would use a new, strong poison and spruiked it as “napalm” for mice. Leading rodent experts questioned the plan, warning that the poison’s use came with a high risk of killing native and domestic animals as well. Dr Peter Brown, leader of the rodent management research team at CSIRO, told The Guardian, “The anti-coagulants can accumulate up through the food chain, and so birds of prey or other animals can be feeding on dead mice and they could potentially get a lethal dose themselves through secondary poisoning.”

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