Mouse plague poison knocked back
THE NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers and the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW co-signed letters to the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and to Matt Kean, Minister for Energy and Environment and Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture and Western Sydney, raising concerns about Minister Marshall's application to the APVMA to use the poison bromadiolone to control the mouse plague in NSW. The main concern was that there have been reports that mice affected by poison are being consumed by native fish.
The letter was also co-signed by the Australian Veterinary Association, NSW Farmers, Nature Conversation Council of NSW, BirdLife Australia, Rural Doctors’ Association NSW, Grain Producers Australia, Grain Trade Australia, Farmsafe Australia, Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Pork Ltd and Sheep Producers Australia.
The NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers were concerned about the impacts of secondary poisoning with bromadiolone. The product has a very long half-life and a demonstrated history of impacting non-target species, including native predatory birds, reptiles, fish and aquatic species, some of which are endangered. There is also a demonstrated and real risk that it will impact livestock, domestic animals and potentially humans, including small children.
The APVMA rejected the NSW government's application for the use of bromadiolone. An effective alternative poison, zinc phosphide (ZnP), is currently available and in use. It has less harmful secondary-poisoning effects in animals that may injest poisoned mice.
In a media release following the APVMA's rejection, Minister Adam Marshall commented "The APVMA was extremely diligent in its consideration of our request and despite [the NSW government] being disappointed not getting the outcome we wanted for the State’s farmers, they are the independent regulator and we accept the umpire’s decision."
As well as being responsible for agriculture, Marshall is also responsible for NSW fisheries. The NSWCFA reached out to Sean Sloan, NSW Deputy Director General of Fisheries, asking what advice — if any — DPI Fisheries has given Minister Adam Marshall regarding the potential effect of bromadiolone poison on fish in NSW waterways. No response was received.