Closure of mouse bait mixing sites?

13 September 2011

A company in breach of its permit conditions has ceased mouse bait mixing operations at Wagga Wagga NSW and Berriwillock VIC, following an APVMA compliance inspection.

APVMA inspectors have seized mixed bait and records from the two sites and are continuing their enquiries at other locations.

The company permitted to manufacture and supply zinc phosphide mouse bait mixed with unsterilised grain has also advised the APVMA that they have ceased operations at other sites due to over production against their permit allocations.

An application to renew the permit past 30 September 2011 was received by the APVMA on 6 September 2011 and is currently under assessment.

Any decision to renew an emergency permit will take into consideration the:

  • availability of products in the marketplace, both registered and unregistered
  • the likelihood of an ongoing mouse plague across southern Australia
  • adherence to permit conditions, which stipulate how the site can be operated safely to manage risks to human health.

Background

A number of emergency permits have been issued by the APVMA to help farmers deal with the extensive mouse plague across Australia. Permit 12837, issued in June 2011, allows the permit holder to mix zinc phosphide with unsterilised grain at regional bait mixing sites, for supply to farmers. A condition of the permit is that prior to supply, the APVMA must:

  • be satisfied that human health, worker safety and environmental risks can be safely managed at each site in accordance with state legislation
  • be notified of the location of the site
  • authorise the quantity to be produced at that site.

Zinc phosphide is a Schedule 7 chemical (dangerous poison) which can break down with moisture to release dangerous phosphine gas. Phosphine gas is highly toxic and very flammable. Symptoms of exposure to phosphine gas include headache, dizziness, vomiting, breathing difficulties, liver and kidney failure and convulsions.

To date, the APVMA has authorised seven regional bait mixing sites:

  • Walbundrie, NSW
  • Forbes, NSW
  • Finley, NSW
  • Moulamein, NSW
  • Kadina, South Australia
  • Crystalbrook, South Australia
  • Cowell, South Australia

Emergency permits allow supply and use of an unregistered product or active constituent for a limited time to address an identified emergency.

Related information:

Contact:

Media Inquiries

Phone: +61 2 6210 4812
Mobile: +61 467 726 486
Email: media@apvma.gov.au

Last updated on 13 September, 2011

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