The government is not prepared to financially support farmers whose income has been damaged by a plague of mice in parts of Friesland, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said on Tuesday.
Speaking during a visit to a farm in one of the affected areas, Dijksma said that while she recognised it was an emotional issue, ‘I have no money to offer but I can think and help find a solution’.
One option would be to develop a new form of insurance which would allow farmers to insure themselves against mouse damage.
The Dutch farming association LTO estimates the damage caused by mice at some €70m and says tens of thousands of hectares are affected. Dairy farmers are particularly hit because the mice are eating grass roots, turning fields into deserts and ruining hay and silage crops.
Kilometres of dykes have also been damaged by mice, making them more vulnerable to erosion, the Telegraaf said earlier this week.
Current affairs magazine Elsevier points out that a hard winter would end the problem because many mice would die in a prolonged period of frost.
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