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DoC angered by carcass dumping

With another case of gory animal remains dumped at a public site, the Department of Conservation [DoC] is warning those responsible that they could incur a hefty fine.

A pile of animal bones stripped of meat and sheep carcasses causing a breathtaking stench were discovered halfway up the Mt Dick walking track by a member of the public recently.

The land is managed by DoC, and senior community ranger Ronnie Priest said that they were aware of people regularly dumping carcasses.

“This site is a real hotspot for this sort of thing,” Priest said.

“We have seen whole sheep and cows dumped there from time to time [with no meat taken from them] along with regular dumping of pig and deer skins, bone and bruised meat.”

She said DoC would send a ranger to assess the site.

While DoC didn’t keep data on this issue, Priest noted that there were carcasses dumped regularly at all road ends and along access roads.

She confirmed that dumping rubbish on Public Conservation Land was an offence under the Conservation Act and it could result in a fine of up to $5000 for the individuals responsible.

The Times-Age recently reported on another case of animal remains dumped on public land, with this incident concerning 25 sheep carcasses left in the Ruamāhanga River at Double Bridges in Masterton.

Priest said that people who dump contaminants – such as animal carcasses – in waterways could face up to two years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000.

She said DoC’s view on the issue was that people should “take only photos and leave only footprints”.

“Ecologically speaking, the impact of a carcass being dumped here and there probably has no more impact than an animal dying in the bush from natural causes,” Priest said.

“However, if someone has a ‘favourite dumping spot’ the accumulation of carcasses at one place over time is likely to have an impact on soil and water quality in that area.”

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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