IT takes a lot to surprise the police – officers are used to seeing strange things as they patrol the highways and byways of this great, if eccentric, land.

But one motorist managed to raise the eyebrows of the law higher than usual when he was pulled over for a minor law infringement.

For standing in the boot area of the little Peugeot 206 – and watching the proceedings with a keen interest – was a fully-grown sheep.

And when questioned about just why he was carrying such an unusual passenger the driver simply said he had taken it to McDonalds for a takeaway.

“Some people take their dogs in their cars, I take my sheep,” he told the nonplussed officers.

The woolly encounter took place in North Yorkshire on Wednesday night, when the Peugeot was stopped after a visit to the Leeming Bar services.

Traffic constables Chris Marlow and Emma Bainbridge were first alerted by a woman who saw the large sheep in the small car in the McDonalds drive-through – and on stopping the car they found it also had two bald tyres.

“It was a little surprising to see it in such a small car - but this is rural North Yorkshire,” said TC Marlow.

“People do some odd things that they think are perfectly normal. The sheep didn't look in distress and was quite secure so we didn't have an issue with it.”

The driver was totally unfazed by the police reaction and appeared to think there was nothing odd about driving to a takeaway with an ovine companion.

“He seemed fine to be honest – although he obviously felt a little sheepish when we pointed out the two bald tyres,” said TC Marlow.

“He didn't seem to think it was strange to take a sheep through the drive-through - and we even joked with him that he was mean because he hadn't even bought her a McFlurry.”

The officers ruled out booking the driver for an insecure load after deciding it was no worse than having a large dog in the back.

The sheep came from the driver’s farm and the driver was given a ticket and allowed to drive home.

“We didn't think it was appropriate to get the sheep out so he could access the spare tyre,” said TC Marlow.

“No action was taken against the sheep and it was allowed to continue its journey.”