AUSTRALIA'S acting Prime Minister has said the nation's mouse plague should be "rehomed" in the inner-city apartments of animal rights activists to "nibble their feet" and "scratch their children at night".
National Party leader Michael McCormack made the bizarre suggestion in Parliament after being questioned about his plan to help farmers.
He also hit out at animal rights organisation PETA in his latest attack on "idiots" who believe that frustrated farmers shouldn't kill mice.
"There is nothing worse than the stench of mice, nothing worse than having mice eat your grain, mice running around your house, farm and factory," he said.
"And we have PETA coming out, and I didn’t hear the member for Melbourne disendorsing them – saying the poor little curious creatures, the mice, should be rehomed.
"I agree they should be rehomed, into their inner-city apartments so they can nibble away at their food and their feet at night and scratch their children at night," McCormack told the House of Representatives.
"This is a disgrace by PETA. We always stand ready to help our farmers."
His comments come as Aussies continue to battle the biblical rodent plague that has taken over and "ravaged" communities.
Residents have shared horrific stories of the outbreak, that some have begged to be declared a natural disaster, as swarms of rodents have descended upon their homes, land, and possessions.
A family living in New South Wales have been left homeless after mice chomped through wiring and sparked a mammoth fire.
Mum-of-three Rebekah Ward told how the furry pests had been "crawling over her kids at night", "eating their food" and biting them before they finally set her house ablaze.
One farmer's wife disturbingly woke up to a mouse chewing on her eyeball as she slept earlier this month, before she was rushed to hospital.
Another young mum, Shirilee Jackson, 31, said a swarm of rats and mice left her car damaged beyond repair in just one night.
She told A Current Affair: "Ten grand's (£5,474) worth of damage. I've woken up at five o'clock in the morning to find the seatbelts chewed, the heater unit, flooring, head rest, and child's car seat chewed."
But PETA spokeswoman Aleesha Naxakis has previously urged Victorians not to kill the mice.
"Our common advice to rodent overpopulation is, of course, to avoid poison which subjects these animals to unbearably painful deaths but also pose the risk of spreading bacteria, and there are alternatives which exist," she said.
"It is so unfair that these mice are going to suffer these horrible deaths."
McCormack, who is standing in for PM Scott Morrison while he visited the UK for the G7 summit, is a frequent critic of inner-city residents, who he once dubbed "latte-sippers".
Labour frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said his remarks were "very weird" and added that his "hostility to people who live in the city actually makes no sense."
After his outburst, he later confirmed that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority was considering further solutions to the rodent problem.
"They are considering a request for certain pesticides and herbicides. To the bait.
"But the trouble with that bait is that it also does have secondary influences on native birds and other animals, pets around the house and indeed livestock," McCormack said.
“That’s what we don’t want to see. What we would always do is take the best possible advice.
“Farmers know who their friends are. The friends are on this side of the House. Farmers always know, farmers always know.”
He said the NSW government had granted $150million in aid to struggling farmers and said the response to the mouse plague was the "remit of the states".
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