A SOUTHERN Downs police officer has been cleared of any wrong-doing after firing six bullets to euthanise an injured wallaby in front of children.
Official Right to Information documents reveal the steps taken by Stanthorpe Senior Constable James Ellis the afternoon of December 19 last year was justified in an effort to destroy a wallaby maimed by a car..
The RTI request had called for the official Queensland Police policy on destroying sick or wounded animals with handguns.
It revealed the QPS had conducted trials in 2000 using a Glock semiautomatic pistol fired at a range of two to seven metres.
By firing rounds into a cattle head sourced from an abattoir, the study found the Glock "performed exceptionally well in all instances" and "would cause instantaneous loss of consciousness and rapid death" at all distances.
Section 148 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities act gives officers the power to destroy an animal if they believe the animal to be in pain.
The policy mandates officers aim for the brain or heart of the animal in an effort to destroy the animal in the most humane manner possible.
The RTI documents reveal Snr Const. Ellis had been called to a suburban street the afternoon of December 19 last year.
The report stated the wallaby had been hit by a car outside the home and had been injured.
After failing to make contact with the RSPCA, Snr Const. Ellis found the wallaby which had suffered a smashed leg.
Noting the terrain on which the wallaby was found, Stanthorpe police Officer-in-Charge Senior Sergeant Mark Ireland noted the Snr Const. Ellis had "difficulties in disposing of the animal".
"Hence the six shots being discharged due to the landscape resulting in the officer taking great care not to discharge the weapon towards any fence line," the RTI documents stated.
"The injured animal continued to move locations through sparse bush and rock requiring the officer to relocate to an appropriate location before discharging the firearm on each location.
"Despite the requirement for a number of shots to be discharged in order to euthanase the badly injured animal, I am satisfied that the officer/s involved acted appropriately under difficult circumstances."
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