A farmer appears to have illegally dumped the bodies of 30 sheep by a lake on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, sparking outrage in the local area. Ruth Wills reports...
South West Water discovered the bodies during a routine visit to the private lake and is treating it as an act of fly tipping as the sheep’s ear tags had been removed.
“Not only is the fly-tipping of dead livestock on private grounds illegal, it is also potentially dangerous as carcasses can carry infectious diseases, putting those in contact with the sheep and the bio-security of farms at risk,” said Les Metcalfe at South West Water.
"We urge those responsible to think about the wider negative impacts on the local environment and community before illegally disposing of animals in this way.”
The organisation has increased surveillance in the area and is encouraging anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it to Devon and Cornwall Police.
"This is also a criminal offence and prosecutors could [seek] an unlimited fine or up to five years imprisonment.”
Following the incident, the NFU has reminded farmers to always dispose of dead livestock in a safe and legal way, either using a registered fallen stock collector or at an approved premises.
"Dumping sheep carcasses in this way is not only antisocial, it is also illegal and gives the vast majority of farmers in the area who are following correct procedures and best practice in animal welfare a bad name,” said Alex Stevens, regional policy manager at NFU.
"It may be the case that profitability challenges, the recent dry weather and lack of grass growth has led a livestock keeper to take an action that they would not otherwise have done. If this is the case, I would urge them to seek advice and support from one of the farm care charities who can offer confidential support.”
National Fallen Stock Company: 01335 320014
Farming Community Network: 03000 111 999