Sheep in Australia Dying an Awful Death After Eating Toxic Weed

May 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM Leave a comment

 

Sheep via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Oh man, this is so sad and so bizarre:

Hundreds of sheep in the central west of NSW have died after eating a poisonous plant and bashing their heads open “like heroin addicts”.

Plague proportions of darling pea have dealt another blow to farmers who suffered the impacts of the bushfire in Coonabarabran last January.

The endangered native pea, which usually exists in the area in small quantities, has spread wildly following the bushfire, which burnt 54,000 hectares of the Warrumbungle National Park and adjoining farms.

Stephen and Louise Knight have lost 800 sheep to the noxious plant so far on their steep, rocky property, Tannabah.

[…]

North West Local Land Services regional veterinarian Bob McKinnon said the stock became addicted to the plant and displayed erratic behaviour “similar to that of a drunk”.

“They lose weight to start with and then get staggery, the progression gets worse, they get unco-ordinated and depressed, they don’t know where their feet are and they become recumbent and die that way,” he said.

Other symptoms the affected animals display include staring eyes, head pressing, muscle tremors, walking with a paddling gait, high stepping, and dragging hind legs.

Mrs Knight said the symptoms were evident.

“They just go to a post and bang their head on it till they crack their heads open; it’s like dealing with a thousand heroin addicts,” she said.

More…

It sounds like an awful death.  Poor things.

 

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Entry filed under: Animals (Other Than Us).

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