Social media users have expressed their fury at the “disturbing” footage of a bucket of mice being lit on fire in NSW, amid the state’s current plague.
In a video uploaded to TikTok, a group of men are seen in front of a series of silos with a bucket in front of them.
One then lights the bucket on fire, tipping it over before the mice, set alight, run out of it.
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The footage comes as swarms of mice terrorise rural towns in central NSW.
Farmers are having their crops destroyed and homes invaded by waves of mice that have bred exponentially after a summer of heavy rain produced high crop yields and cooler weather – ripe conditions for the pests.
The worst-hit areas have been the Northern Tablelands, Central West and New England regions of the state, but there has been speculation the plague could reach even Sydney in coming months.
The ongoing rodent infestation across eastern Australia is on track to cause up to $100 million worth of damage and has already worsened a mental health crisis in the regions.
Some farmers have lost as much as $300,000 as mice chew through crops.
Gunnedah farmer Xavier Martin revealed last week the numbers of mice in his fields had become so extreme some of the mice had resorted to eating each other.
“They eat each others’ heads off, and then by the time they get to the lungs and heart they tend to leave it,” said Mr Martin, who is also vice president of Farmers NSW, an organisation that has been advocating for help to stem the mouse plague.
“You’ll find the lower half of a mouse left behind – so you still have to clean it up.”
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While the state government earlier this month announced a $50 million assistance package to help communities and farmers inundated with mice, Mr Martin told The Sydney Morning Heraldit was “an impractical and dysfunctional joke” that did not give the immediate resistance required.
Without action, he warned, the crisis could continue for at least two years.
“We have a plague because the government did nothing, they said it was just a problem,” he said.
“It’s turned into something that knocks the heck out of our state economy when we’re trying to recover from covid.
“It’s not hard to see it’s up to 10 per cent of grossly domestic product of NSW that’s in jeopardy at the moment.”
– With NCA NewsWire