ACT News

Sheep killed in truck rollover on Monaro Highway

More than 100 sheep are believed to have been killed after a truck carrying about 400 animals rolled at the roundabout of Johnson Drive and Monaro Highway at Calwell.

The truck was heading north on the Monaro Highway when it crashed just before noon on Wednesday. Police, ACT Fire & Rescue, ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Roads and TAMS staff all attended the scene.

Hundreds of sheep were on the truck when it rolled at a roundabout.
Hundreds of sheep were on the truck when it rolled at a roundabout.  Photo: Emma Kelly

TAMS parks and conservation regional manager Stuart Jeffress, who was on site during the day, said there were 394 sheep on the truck when it crashed, 109 of which were killed either in the accident or afterwards.

"When I arrived we had a mixture of sheep that were well, sheep that were injured and sheep that were dead unfortunately. From there, a government vet assessed the animals to see what was the appropriate treatment," he said.

Sheep truck rollover.
Sheep truck rollover.  Photo: Emma Kelly

Containment fencing was set up by ACT Policing to control the sheep,  some of which were still being cleared from the truck shortly before 1pm.

The driver was uninjured in the crash.


Mr Jeffress said a number of sheep had to be euthanased with a bolt gun due to the extent of their injuries, while the rest of the animals had been taken away on another truck.

He said he believed the dead sheep would be buried at the Mugga Lane tip.

"[The others had] minor injuries. They are considered in a condition where they can return or be put on a truck. The vet would assess them to make sure they're well enough to get onto the truck," he said.

Mr Jeffress said it had been a confronting scene, but rangers had been focused on the job in front of them.

"You're trying to undertake steps to improve the animal welfare situation. The vet was on-site... It's a situation where you remain professional," he said.

"Yes it is confronting, it's quite a horrible situation but it's your job to try and make the best of what you've got in front of you."

He said the roads had been cleared, the remaining sheep had been loaded onto another truck and the area should be clear shortly.

Sergeant Mark Rowswell from Tuggeranong police station said earlier in the day motorists should avoid the area while the scene was cleared. Northbound traffic is being diverted onto Johnson Drive.  He expected the affected intersection to be reopened about 3pm.