Poisoning is not the best way of dealing with the the plague of mice, according to Dr Gavin Smith of the Australian National University.
He says snakes which are natural predators of mice should have a much bigger role in ending the plague which has ruined crops, damaged hay, invaded homes and caused millions of dollars of damage.
"Snakes are a key, albeit seasonal in places, natural predator and front-line defence against mice," he said.
The New South Wales government has secured 5,000 litres of one of the world's strongest mice-killing chemicals - bromadiolone kills mice within 24 hours of them consuming it.
But Dr Smith said that putting poison into the food system on a large scale risks harming countless other animals, and so it threatens the delicate ways in which the ecosystem works. It's not just the mice which would be killed.
Far better, Dr Smith, argues is for humans to cherish snakes "and let them do their business" (which is to eat mice).
He fears that the authorities are taking the easier option by ordering poison. "Poisoning represents one but not the only or best way," he said.
"My deep concern is that we continue to systematically persecute snakes and that has an adverse effect on the eco-system," he said.
"An eastern brown snake can eat a healthy supply of mice and rats each week, thereby having an impact on how quickly they can reproduce," Dr Smith said.
"It's their favourite meal."
He condemns the "everyday routinised harm" which people inflict on snakes, including road kill, shooting them, poisoning and killing them with a shovel.
Dr Smith wears two hats. He is actively researching snakes at the ANU's sociology department but also a snake catcher under the name ACT Snake Removals.
He is the most fervent advocate of better treatment for snakes. He thinks they have been much misunderstood.
"Getting the balance right between the use of the appropriate chemicals and natural control measures to slow or contain the plague, and doing the long-term conservational work to enable our natural native predators such as raptors and reptiles to flourish in the Australian landscape, is key to the future management of these kinds of ecological problems."
Other academics echoed Dr Smith's concern about using poison the tackle the plague of mice.
"This is a bad idea," Robert Davis, Bill Bateman, Damian Lettoof, Maggie Watson and Michael Lohr from a group of Australian universities wrote.
"While bromadiolone effectively kills mice, it also travels up the food chain to poison predators who eat the mice, and other species. And these predators, from wedge-tailed eagles to goannas, are coming out in droves to feast on their abundant prey.
"High numbers of birds of prey - nankeen kestrels, black-shouldered kites and barn owls - are often reported feasting on plague mice.
"Snakes, goannas, native carnivores such as quolls, and feral cats and foxes, also take advantage of the abundant food. Pets, especially cats and some dogs, are highly likely to consume mice under these conditions, too."
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