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Dumped dead calf raises concerns

By Tessa Johnstone

A dead calf dumped by the Waiohine River has highlighted the issue of illegal dumping for nearby residents.

The calf was found by a group of dog walkers on the Waiohine, close to Kuratawhiti St in Greytown, last Friday and had not been removed by Sunday.

A Greytown resident, who did not want to be named, said in the four years she has been walking her dog in the area she has seen everything from mattresses to drug paraphernalia down there, but it was the first time she has spotted a whole animal carcass.

"It was freshly dead. I'm a bit of a wimp with animals but it was horrible to see. It looked a few days old to me, it was certainly very dead."

She said it was a "particularly nasty" find and thought it may be a health hazard, particularly if left to rot.

Greater Wellington spokesman Jim Flack said they see far too many animal carcasses dumped by waterways.

"We see a lot of remains from butchered animals that have been dumped - mainly sheep, deer and wild pigs. Whole animals like this calf are a lot less common."

Mr Flack said rivers and streams close to towns - the Waingawa in Masterton and the Waiohine in Greytown - were worst affected by the issue. "We see huge amounts of bottles, old car bodies, remains of what would probably have been stolen sheep."

He said he was not qualified to say whether there was a health risk from people dumping rubbish and animals near waterways, but that it was certainly very unpleasant.

South Wairarapa District Council infrastructure and services manager Mark Allingham said illegal dumping was not a major issue for South Wairarapa, though there were a few problem spots.

He said in springtime some hunters dumped carcasses at the Tutumuri Recycling Station, and fish remains were sometimes dumped in bins around Ngawi.

Mr Allingham said as long as tips remained affordable it would not be an issue. "Our transfer station fees aren't expensive and, if people can afford to do the right thing, they generally will."

Both councils offered to send contractors to pick up the carcass if residents called in the location.


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