Wacked out wallabies creating crop circles
Tasmanian poppy growers have a bizarre explanation for crop circles found in their paddocks: drugged out wallabies.
It has been found the marsupials are breaking into opium poppy fields and getting high after eating the poppy heads.
Tasmania's Attorney-General Lara Giddings said the intoxicated wallabies then hopped around in circles, making the formations.
"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Ms Giddings told a Budget Estimates hearing.
"Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."
Rick Rockliff from Tasmanian Alkaloids told News Ltd that livestock which ate the poopy heads had also exhibited bizarre behaviour.
"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," Mr Rockliff said.
"But as growers we try our best to try and stop this sort of consumption, particularly by livestock, due to concerns about the contamination of the meat.
"There is also the risk to our poppy stocks, so growers take this very seriously but there has been a steady increase in the number of wild animals and that is where we are having difficulty keeping them off our land."
Tasmania is one of the world's largest legal producers of opium for the pharmaceutical market, provinding around 50 per cent of the global market's raw material for morphine and other opiates.
But the ease with which the wallabies were making their way into poppy paddocks raises serious concerns about the security of the crops.
Tasmania's isolation means its poppy crops are some of the most secure in the world, Ms Giddings said. However 2280 poppy head have been stolen in 17 thefts over the last year, including 551 potentially deadly thebaine poppies.
"Although there has not been a major incident in the past 40 years of this industry it is time that we look at licensing measures and other security handling procedures to make sure that stays the same in the future," Ms Giddings said.Wacked out wallabies creating crop circles - news - LIVENEWS.com.au
Ahh, Tasmania! Our favourite inbred lil backwater