Mouse plague forces Australian prison evacuation

SYDNEY (AFP) – A mouse plague ravaging Australia’s farmlands forced the evacuation of hundreds of inmates from a rural jail yesterday, as the rodents broke in and chewed through essential infrastructure.

Mice have gnawed through ceiling panels and wiring at a New South Wales (NSW) prison, prompting authorities to scale back operations for repairs.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of staff and inmates is our number one priority, so it’s important for us to act now to carry out the vital remediation work,” said Peter Severin of Corrective Services NSW.

Up to 420 inmates and 200 staff from the Wellington Correctional Centre will be moved to other facilities by the end of the month.

“We want to do this overhaul once, and we want it done properly, which means we’ll be looking at ways to mitigate the effects of similar plagues in the future,” Custodial Corrections Assistant Commissioner Kevin Corcoran said.

Mice have gnawed through ceiling panels and wiring at a New South Wales prison. PHOTO: CNN