Farmers all over Wales are losing their sheep to a dangerous plant known as the “darling pea,” which causes the animals to shake and bash their own heads open.
Veterinarian Bob McKinnon explained to Unilad that the sheep “lose weight to start with and then get staggery, the progression gets worse, they get uncoordinated and depressed, they don’t know where their feet are.” They have problems with staring and muscle tremors until they “just go to a post and bang their head on it till they crack their heads open.” McKinnon said, “It’s like dealing with a thousand heroin addicts.”
Some farms have lost over 800 sheep from the plant.
The plant, originally from Australia, attacks animals by storing toxins in their bodies, which eventually attack their nervous system.
Animals can be weaned off of the plant, but there’s no known way to reverse the damage already caused. So talk to your livestock about just saying no to darling pea.