Illegal dumping in Wairoa River

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Rubbish which was previously collected from the Wairoa River
Rubbish which was previously collected from the Wairoa River

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has pulled more animal carcases out of Tauranga's Wairoa River this week, following illegal dumping along the riverbank last month.

Three deer carcases were reported dumped under the bridge, just upstream from popular whitebaiting areas.

About two and a half tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish, which included sheep carcases, guts, skins and heads, tyres, batteries, engines, computers and car parts was recovered along a 200 metre stretch of the river in mid-August.

On that occasion it appeared that sheep were taken for meat from nearby farms. Police were alerted at the time, along with some adjoining landowners.

Regional Council Pollution Prevention Team Leader Annabelle Ellis said the deer may have been taken for meat, as the carcases were butchered.

"The people dumping rubbish and animal carcases have no regard for the people who use the river as a food source. It's important that if anyone knows who is taking animals or dumping rubbish in the river they need to report it to us, to their local council or police," she said.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council, which shared the cost of removing the rubbish, has erected signs in the area warning of fines of $500 and prosecution for anyone caught dumping.

Any suspicious activity or illegal dumping should be reported to police or Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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