Grain Producers Australia (GPA) has welcomed the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s (APVMA) common sense, science-based decision today to reject approval for farmers in NSW to use bromadiolone-treated grain, to help fight devastating mouse plagues.
In a $150 million mouse control support package, the NSW Government applied to the APVMA for an emergency-use permit to use unregistered bromadiolone-treated grain in perimeter baiting.
However, GPA has advocated for this resourcing to be allocated to better-support farmers with access to a more ecologically sound solution, provided via the emergency use permit recently issued to GPA, which doubles the potency of current zinc phosphide in mouse bait registrations.
Mr Weidemann said the NSW Government’s announcement that resources will now be redeployed to provide other key support measures to growers – including giving farmers rebates of 50 per cent on zinc phosphide mouse bait purchases, to a maximum of $10,000 – was the right way forward.
“We called for a scientifically sound, independent assessment of the efficacy of this emergency use permit, to protect our industry’s long-term interests, and this outcome has now been delivered by the APVMA and is the right result which we support,” Mr Weidemann said.
“The use of bromadiolone carried real risks to the reputation, profitability and sustainability of all Australian grain producers, not just those in NSW, who contribute between $9 billion and $12 billion to the national economy each year, and we are relieved the right ruling was made.”
Mr Weidemann said GPA noted comments by APVMA CEO, Lisa Croft, that the APVMA’s primary concern was environmental safety, particularly in relation to animals that eat mice. And that the regulator was not satisfied that the proposed use of bromadiolone meets the statutory criteria for safety, specifically in relation to residues and the environment.
He said GPA will continue working with the NSW Government and manufacturers to help secure supplies of zinc phosphide in time for spring, which includes providing $5 million from the support package to assist with the costs of transporting zinc phosphide active to Australia.
“GPA has worked with NSWFarmers and the NSW Government and other stakeholders to ensure timely, safe, practical solutions are delivered and we will continue to do so in the best interests of grain growers and industry,” he said.
“Our focus is to ensure growers throughout Australia have the right tools to help fight mouse plagues and protect their crops now and into the future because this issue hasn’t been solved overnight and more work is needed.
“Leading into spring, growers are being advised by experts to remain vigilant, check their crops for damage, and be prepared to bait; preferably with double dose zinc phosphide.”