Author: By Associated Press in Sydney
Lara Giddings, the Attorney-General of the Australian state, told a budget hearing that she had read about the kangaroo-like marsupials’ antics in a report about the island’s large poppy industry. “We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high,” The Mercury newspaper quoted Ms Giddings as saying.
A manager for one of two Tasmanian companies licensed to take medicinal products from poppy straw said wildlife and livestock, including deer and sheep, that ate the poppies were known to “act weird”.
“There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles,” added Rick Rockliff, a field operations manager at Tasmanian Alkaloids.
Tasmania is the world’s largest producer of legally grown opium for the pharmaceuticals industry, and supplies about 50 per cent of the raw material for morphine and related opiates. About 500 farmers grow the crop on 49,420 acres of land.
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