In the last 24 hours, City of Cockburn Rangers have attended to numerous requests about a wandering sheep.
One male sheep was eventually located today and found running across Kwinana Freeway train lines within the City of Cockburn.
The City was subsequently contacted by WA Police and the Public Transport Authority to assist in the matter, attempts were made to capture the sheep for several hours.
However, these proved to be unsuccessful causing a number of delays to train services and danger to motorists and officers involved.
In consideration to public safety and the animal’s welfare, the agencies involved determined that euthanising the sheep via the use of a firearm was the most appropriate course of action, after it was observed to be in distress, further increasing the risk to public safety.
A City ranger humanely euthanised the sheep onsite while train services were temporarily suspended and part of the southbound freeway was closed.
The City’s Rangers and Community Safety Services team is making further enquiries to identify the sheep’s owner.
The City did not consider the use of a tranquilliser gun to be a viable option.
The City does not possess tranquilliser guns and acquiring them is difficult as they are not readily available in WA. The City’s rangers have attempted to access tranquilizer guns in previous situations without success.
The blow darts used by many vets to sedate animals are not able to easily pierce the thick skin and wool of a sheep.
The strong sedatives required for a tranquilliser gun are only accessible from vets. A specific dosage of sedative needs to be calculated, based on the type of animal and its size and weight. Too much can result in a protracted and inhumane death; too little will fail to sedate the animal and likely frighten it. Obtaining the correct measurements for the required dosage would have been highly difficult in this situation.
Euthanising the sheep was a last resort for the City and this decision was reached in consultation with WA Police and the Public Transport Authority.
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