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article imageHundreds of crazed sheep died 'like heroin addicts'

By Owen Weldon     May 18, 2014 in Odd News
In central west of New South Wales, hundreds of sheep have died after consuming a poisonous plant, and then bashed their heads "like heroin addicts."
According to SMH, farmers who felt the impacts of the bushfire in Coonabarabran last January were dealt another blow thanks to the darling pea.
Stephen and Louise Knight are sheep graziers and they have lost around 800 livestock after the poisonous plant was consumed, the Daily Mail reported.
Mrs. Knight said that the sheep consumed the plant then banged their head against a post, which eventually cracked their heads wide open. She said it was like dealing with a thousand heroin addicts.
According to Farm Weekly, the plant is from the Swainsona species, which is an erect plant that has pea-shaped flowers with woolly textured pods. This species of plant is rather toxic to livestock; in fact, when livestock graze on it, the toxins build in their system and their central nervous system becomes affected after an enzyme that is involved in metabolism is attacked.
Bob McKinnon, a North West Local Land Services regional veterinarian, said that the plant is addictive and it causes livestock to display in an erratic way.
He said some symptoms include losing weight, depression, as well as staring eyes and they can become uncoordinated.
McKinnon said that affected animals can be cured by being taken off of the plant, but if they graze on it for too long, their cells will not repair to where they should be at.
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