30 sheep illegally dumped at Cornwall reservoir

Around 30 sheep carcasses have been found illegally dumped at a reservoir in Cornwall on land managed by South West Water.

South West Water along with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is urging livestock keepers to dispose of dead animals safely and responsibly or risk prosecution.

The carcasses at Park Lane were discovered during a routine visit to Park Lake, Bodmin Moor.

The animals are thought to be part of a planned fly-tipping operation as their identification tags had been removed before they were thrown on the private land.

Les Metcalfe, head of contract, commercial and estates for South West Water, said: “Not only is the fly-tipping of dead livestock on private grounds illegal, but it is also potentially dangerous as carcasses can carry infectious diseases, putting those in contact with the sheep and the biosecurity of farms at risk.

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.

“As a result, we have increased surveillance measures in the area and encourage visitors to our sites to report any suspicious activity to the police.

“This is also a criminal offence and under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, prosecutors could receive an unlimited fine or up to five years’ imprisonment.”

‘Giving farmers a bad name’

Alex Stevens, regional policy manager at the National Farmers Union (NFU) added: “Dumping sheep carcasses in this way is not only antisocial, but 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.

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.”

The NFU advises that livestock keepers should dispose of dead animals safely and legally at an approved premise or by employing a registered fallen stock collector, such as the National Fallen Stock Company.

Should customers have any concerns over illegal or suspicious activity near reservoirs, customers should contact Devon and Cornwall Police.