Approval given to Victorian farmers for aerial and ground baiting with this noxious chemical.
Thousands of hectares of grain areas may be blanketed with zinc phosphide (a world first),
to kill wild house mice. What will the effects be on non-target animals and birds?
Go-ahead on mouse poison. (Weekly Times, Victoria, 7th May 1997)
Reporter Joanne Collins, Grains writer, wrote "Victoria's mouse-afflicted farmers have been given permission to use zinc phosphide as a ground bait
on the eve of sowing.
Approval by the National Registration Authority follows months of intense lobbying by the Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Group and extensive
trials by the department of Natural Resources and Environment.
While the NRA approved zinc phosphide for aerial baiting some weeks ago, its use as a ground bait was witheld due to occupational health and safety
State Agriculture Minister Pat McNamara said the NRA had, taken an "overly cautious" approach in approving the control agent.
"The department approved use for the state's farmers and then we had to sit twiddling our thumbs for six months," Mr McNamara said.
Only farmers with Agricultural Chemicals Users Permits and those who have completed an approved farm chemical user's course would be eligible
to use the control agent, Mr McNamara said.
Grains Group president, David Thomas" said the approval was timely as many farmers would soon be looking to sow following good weekend rainfall across the grain belt.
"This is very, very good news for the grain growers...but it has been a long, hard slog getting approval," Mr Thomas said.
Mr McNamara said 40 tonnes of zinc phosphide was available to use - enough to bait 40,000 ha and
enough to combat current numbers.
Baiting will cost farmers $8/ha for aerial applications and $3-4/ha for ground baiting.
Mr Thomas expected the bait would only be applied aerially in the Wimmera, where farmers had a high rate of return per hectare.
Farmers wanting to use the bait should contact their local NRE office."