Wallaby shooting defended as ‘humane’

STANTHORPE'S police officer in charge has defended the actions of an officer who was forced to euthanise an injured wallaby on a suburban property at the weekend.

Police were called by wildlife carers to euthanise the swamp wallaby, after it was found hopping around a Wallangarra Rd property with a severely injured leg.

The incident sparked debate on social media, after a man claiming to witness the act posted on Facebook.

"Nothing like having your daughter watching the kangaroo and next minute, Stanthorpe police came running in with a pistol and shoot the kangaroo 6 times," Jamie Folkers posted.

"The police officer standing no more then one meter (sic) away from it.

"We were standing no more then (sic) 50 metres away."

Senior Sergeant Mark Ireland said the officer in question was a very qualified and very professional firearms training officer.

"Unfortunately he took a few shots to euthanize the animal; but I am fully convinced he acted very professionally and I have no complaint," he said.

"It was a very difficult situation he had to face."

Snr Sgt Ireland said euthanising injury wildlife was a regular job for police.

"The fact that a person disagreed with the way it was done is an issue for themselves," he said.

"It's not a perfect world, it's very easy to be critical."

The actions of the officer were praised by Granit Belt Wildlife Carers president Betty Balch.

She said five of the shots fired were in very quick succession to immobilise the animal, with the fatal shot fired two seconds later.

"The officer who did the shooting did an extremely good job as far as I am concerned. ait was quick and humane," she said.

The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies mandates that injured animals "should be euthanised quickly and humanely to alleviate suffering".

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