Walgett vet calls for review of council practices

WALGETT veterinarian Enid Coupe wants to see Walgett Shire Council's current animal euthanasia practice changed and is keen to be a part of the solution.

"I believe all animals that end up in a pound and can be handled in an easy enough manner without causing too much stress to them, should be euthanised by lethal injection."

Mrs Coupe maintains products like Lethabarb should be used to humanely euthanise the district's animals.

The vet said in the past she had been approached by Walgett Council to provide a quote to do their euthanising.

"I gave them what I consider to be a reasonable quote and they decided to not go with it and to continue shooting them."

Mrs Coupe was passionate in her defence of the ranger involved in the incident surrounding the death of Ninja, at Collarenabri.

"The ranger involved has been doing an incredible job out here trying to sort out what is a terrible situation because of people who neglect their animals.

"They roam the streets, they knock over bins, they cause disease and he has been responsible for getting a lot of dogs off the street.

"If their owners don't come and get them from the pound, they are destroyed, he is shooting them because he is told too, not because he wants to."

Mrs Coupe said many years ago she trained a council ranger to administer a lethal injection because he refused to shoot the animals.

"I trained him how to euthanise by lethal injection, but when he left it went back to shooting."

The vet said other inland shires, like Narrabri, paid to provide euthanasia by lethal injection.

For the last five years Walgett Shire Council, in collaboration with Mrs Coupe, Walgett Veterinary Clinic and the RSPCA in Sydney, have run a subsidised desexing program called PAWS.

Mrs Coupe said it has made a huge difference to the number of animals "put down" at the pound, but there were still problems.

"There are still so many that let their pets roam the streets, and they breed and they breed and they breed, they get hit by cars, they die of parvo, they're not vaccinated.

"Irresponsible owners are the cause of all these problems," she said.

Mrs Coupe said these problems were not just limited to Walgett, but were occurring in many western towns in NSW.

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