A gruesome discovery by the roadside outside Larne has been reported to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) for investigation.
Two rotting lamb carcasses with their ears removed have been found dumped inside a white feed bag on a verge at Brustin Brae Road.
Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly said that the discovery was made by Eco Rangers during a litter pick at the rural road.
Cllr Donnelly commented: “This is a disgusting practice. In some cases the carcasses have had their ears cut off prevent identification of ownership.
“These are being discovered by people out collecting litter around the town and they frequently have children with them.
“Seeing a decomposing lamb carcass could be very shocking and distressing for a child. These should be disposed of in the correct manner.
“Anyone finding these should report at once to council so that they can be disposed of correctly and investigated to see if the person who dumped them could be identified.
“Council waste services are able to safely dispose of the carcasses that were discarded but dumping these at the side of the road it shows a complete lack of regard for health and safety and for the people who live in the area.”
A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “One of Council’s Environment Enforcement Officers have collected and disposed of the lamb carcasses found outside Larne.
“This is an isolated incident and it has been reported to DAERA who follow up on all reports of animal carcasses and issue notices to landowners to dispose of same.”
DAERA says that if carcass is dumped on private land, where possible, the owner will be identified and held responsible. If ownership cannot be proven, responsibility for disposal rests with the landowner.
However, if a carcass is dumped elsewhere including on public land or highways and ownership of the carcass cannot be ascertained, responsibility for disposal rests with the local authority.
DAERA also states that the local authority has powers to take action against fly-tipping and against the owner of a carcass.