Caution On Mice Contaminated Hay

Mice numbers have been increasing across Cowra and the Central West in recent weeks.

District Veterinarian for Local Land Services, Jillian Kelly, has urged farmers to carefully consider mice contaminated hay saying, “The current heavy mice burdens mean that our precious hay stores are fast being eaten and destroyed by the rodents. Mice not only do damage, but they also carry disease that can pose a risk to our livestock, so please be cautious if you are planning on using the remaining hay.”

Jillian goes on to say that mice urine can spread Leptospirosis commonly known as “Lepto”. Two strains of Leptospirosis are known to cause abortion in cattle and Jil lian urges those who are planning on us ing hay contaminated by mice, to vaccinate cattle for Leptospirosis well in advance of feeding. Jillian also notes the risk to humans, as some forms of Leptospirosis carried by mice can transmit to humans. She advises limiting contact with mice urine.

Furthermore, there is cause for concern re-garding Botulism which comes from a bacterial toxin that lives in dead mice carcasses. If livestock ingest pieces of a mouse carcass, it may cause flaccid paralysis, which limits stock ability to eat and drink leading to death. Vaccination is available for cattle and sheep for botulism, but two shots are needed for most products available on the market, so farmers must plan ahead.

Jillian further warns about the poisoning risk to livestock if farmers poison mice before hay is given and recommends “if your paddocks need a grazing spell, confinement feeding with hay and other grains might be a suitable option.”

“In summary, I think every haystack and farm situation will need to be assessed in dividually,” Jillian concludes, urging farmers to, “break open some of the bales and see how much damage and contamination there has been.”

If you would like to discuss this topic give your District Vet on 6341 9315 or Livestock Officer on 0427 007 398 a call.

The Cowra Phoenix
The Cowra Phoenix

Stay Connected

    Get in Contact

Cowra News to your inbox

Sign up now for the latest news from the Cowra area direct to your inbox.

You might also like


Editorial and Sales

1 Rowston Lane, Cowra NSW 2794

Phone: 6341 1022



We are always looking for new articles of interest to the local community.

Please feel free to submit an article for possible inclusion in a future issue.

To submit an article, click here to use our online article submission form.


The Cowra Phoenix FacebookHilltops Phoenix Subscribe
About UsJournalistic Ethics and Complaints PolicyConflict ResolutionPrivacy PolicySite MapRSS Feed