Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested the nation’s mice plague should be “rehomed” in the inner city apartments of animal activists where they can “scratch their children at night”.
The Nationals leader made the bizarre suggestion in Parliament today as he raged about living in a community “ravaged” by mice.
It’s the latest in a string of attacks he has launched targeting “idiots” who say farmers shouldn’t kill mice.
“There is nothing worse than the stench of mice, nothing worse than having mice eat your grain, mice running around your house, farm and factory,” he said.
Sledging the Greens MP Adam Bandt for not pulling animal activists PETA into line for questioning farmers killing the mice, he then branched out to suggest farmers should return fire – with rodents.
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“And we have PETA coming out, and I didn’t hear the member for Melbourne disendorsing them saying the poor little curious creatures, the mice, should be rehomed,” he said.
“I agree they should be rehomed, into their inner city apartments so they can nibble away at their food and their feet at night and scratch their children at night.
“This is a disgrace by PETA. We always stand ready to help our farmers.”
Mr McCormack’s outburst follows the emergence of horrific images in NSW of dead cod choking on dead mice in rivers and homes and farms crawling with mice in every room.
The animal rights group have suggested the mice be “rehomed” instead of exterminated.
PETA spokeswoman Aleesha Naxakis has previously urged Victorians not to kill the mice.
“Our common advice to rodent overpopulation is, of course, to avoid poison which subjects these animals to unbearably painful deaths but also pose the risk of spreading bacteria, and there are alternatives which exist,” she said.
“It is so unfair that these mice are going to suffer these horrible deaths.”
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The Acting PM confirmed authorities were considering requests to bring out the big guns to kill the mice but it did carry risks.
“They are considering a request for certain pesticides and herbicides. To the bait. But the trouble with that bait is that it also does have secondary influences on native birds and other animals, pets around the house and indeed livestock,” Mr McCormack said.
“That’s what we don’t want to see. What we would always do is take the best possible advice.
“Farmers know who their friends are. The friends are on this side of the House. Farmers always know, farmers always know.”