Residents of Preston Rd extension in Te Awamutu have become fed up with the horrendous stench lingering, and the blowflies, from a rotting sheep carcass sitting behind their properties in a farmer's paddock.
The sheep carcass has been sitting above ground directly behind Carol Aymes' home, leaning right up against her back fence, for almost two weeks.
She has made multiple calls to Waipa District Council (WDC) and Waikato Regional Council (WRC) but has got nowhere with them about having the sheep removed or buried.
"They [WDC] said to me that they had asked him to do something about it. and that because he had actioned it by coming and putting a little bit of dirt on it [approximately 200mm] that they could not do anything more about it due to legislation written in 1956," says Carol.
"It's disgusting; I thought any farmer would know to dig a hole to bury their carcass. How could you do this to the residents on the street?"
WRC compliance manager Patrick Lynch says the responsibility for the animal carcass does not lie with the council.
Carol says WRC did call her, though, to tell her they had spoken with the farmer and asked him to remove the carcass by 4pm on Tuesday this week – something which was not done, the sheep carcass remains.
"Animal carcasses are simply not a regional council responsibility, they are clearly the responsibility of the animal owner," says Patrick.
"If there was a risk of contamination to water and the animal owner was not known, we may get involved."
This is not the first time Carol and surrounding neighbours have had to deal with a sheep
carcass turning up by their properties.
Last summer they had the same problem but the removal of the sheep carcass was done swiftly because the farmer had denied all ownership of the sheep.
"Because they didn't know who the sheep belonged to, council [WDC] came in and disposed of it and sent the farmer the bill – quite simple, over and done with in four days," says Carol.
"That's not happening this time though, because he has taken full ownership of the sheep."
The neighbours' current instruction and most hopeful chance of getting something done is to call WDC's environmental health officer, Mark Hayman, the next time it starts to smell really bad.
It's on hot days that the smell is bad, says Carol.
"That first weekend we had this beautiful hot, sunny spring weekend but none of us could go outside because the smell was horrendous, it stank to high heaven, and there were so many blowflies," says Carol.
"One of our neighbours had their grandchildren over for the school holidays and they couldn't even play outside."
If the carcass is not removed or buried, the neighbours fear for a long summer dealing with the stench.
"It's going to take months, probably the whole of summer, for it to break down and decompose – so we're going to have this all through the summer and no one will be able to go or sit outside," says Carol.