Rural Australia is in the middle of a mouse plague that has swept across the country for months. Recently, an Australian farmer has created controversy because of the way he’s dealing with the rodent infestation.
The farmer came under fire recently for sharing videos on TikTok that revealed his method of disposing of the vermin. The viral clips are posted by someone named Andrew (TikTok user @andyj3825). The first one that caused an uproar showed hundreds of mice falling from a huge piece of farm equipment. It should be noted that the rodents fell into a strategically placed metal drum that was set ablaze.
According to an article from Newsweek, the mice have infested his enormous auger – a corkscrew-like farming machine. He set the machine to push the mice out through its grain conveyor and into a 44 gallon drum, which he set on fire. The mice are obviously still alive as they fall to their death, but some do miss the barrel and scurry off to safety in the field.
As of Monday, the TikTok clip had more than 6.2 million views. Of course, the video divided those that watched it with some calling Andrew’s methods inhumane. While others said they understood the extreme measures because of the mouse plague.
Mouse Plague TikTok Videos Come Under Fire
The TikToker’s video seemed to divide opinions on the social media platform. Some admitted that the method was indeed “brutal,” but recognized that extreme measures are needed under the circumstances. In addition, many showed support stating that the mouse plague would ruin his land, crops, and maybe even his home.
On the other hand, some called Andrew out for animal cruelty. Others that shared the same opinion asked him to come up with an alternate method of removal.
Following his first mouse plague video, Andrew posted two more where he seemed to spare the rodents. There is no fire and the mice seem to be let out into the field as they fall from the machinery. Again, viewers can see hundreds of them spill out of the machine, which highlights just how bad Australia’s mouse plague has become.
A third video showed Andrew dropping the mice into another barrel, but it doesn’t seem like used fire this time either. While it isn’t clear if the farmer took some of the criticisms to heart, it is clear he seems to be using alternative methods of disposal.
Media outlets around the world have reported on Australia’s mouse plague. Many have described it by saying the plague has reached near-biblical proportions in the last six months. Experts attribute the mouse invasion in part due to increased rainfall. Furthermore, the plague is ruining Australia’s crops, it’s poisoned native wildlife and even caused severe house fires across the nation.
Thankfully the New South Wales government is stepping in to help those affected by the mouse plague. The government is starting to provide access to rodenticide bromadiolone, which turns grain into mouse bait. Hopefully Andrew and other Australian farmers will get the help they need soon, and then more graphic solutions won’t be needed.