Bait arrives in SA to tackle mice

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Last week, 14,000kg of zinc phosphide tech landed in SA.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Last week, 14,000kg of zinc phosphide tech landed in SA.

OVERWHELMING demand for mouse bait has resulted in extra shipments of zinc phosphide tech Last Supper being air and sea freighted from India into the state.

Wilhelm Rural owner Brenton Wilhelm, who is licensed to distribute Last Supper to SA’s five regional bait stations, said the two consignments, totalling 14,000 kilograms, would be used to manufacture more than 460 tonnes of bait.

“So product availability should not be an issue for primary producers in the coming weeks,” he said.

“We started the season with about 15,000kg of tech, but we didn’t realise how big the problem would become. Vic croppers are also buying our bait because it’s cheaper.”

Mr Wilhelm said this year they would supply up to 29t of tech, equating to 928t of bait. In 2011, the stations sold 12t of tech.

Mr Wilhelm said a further 2500kg of tech was also available in India if required. 

“It only costs about $7/kg extra to air freight the tech in, equating to about 25c/kg in bait form, so any business that charges $2-$5/kg more to air freight extra bait in is only capitalising on the shortage,” he said.

The delivery comes as Agriculture Vic warns farmers not to make their own bait.

“Products that are registered for mouse control have been through a rigorous assessment by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and are formulated to limit the impact on non-target animals,” AV chemical standards officer Alex Perera said.

– ALISHA FOGDEN and GREGOR HEARD