It’s the smell that hits you first. The scent of urine and decomposing bodies. Then you notice other signs: scuttles and squeaks, small dead bodies leaking blood, tails sticking out of hubcaps. If you’ve lived through a mouse plague, you’ve seen this, and smelled the stench of mice dying of poison baits. As a desperate measure to help combat the mouse plague devastating rural communities across New South Wales, the state government yesterday secured 5,000 litres of bromadialone. This is a bait that’s usually illegal to roll out at the proposed scale. This is a bad idea. 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 in out in droves to feast on their abundant prey.