Warren Torrance didn’t expect to find such a grisly sight when he was out for a bicycle ride on Hilliers Road in Coombs.
After wheeling his bicycle across the Island Highway Behind a set of cement barriers of Hilliers Road, the self-proclaimed Coombs-ite stumbled upon some relatively fresh, discarded livestock.
“There were two sheep carcasses. What’s going on?” said Torrance.
Torrance describes the sheep he found as “semi-deteriorated but not smelling yet,” and adding that it wasn’t very pleasant.
Aside from the unpleasantries, he’s concerned for the safety hazard that the deceased livestock present.
“It’s totally dangerous. Because it is like a bear-baiting move – but it’s at a path where people go. So there is an area where I guess if something was eating and you snuck up on it, you would be interrupting them… The potential for a disaster is there, especially with that school just up the road,” said Torrance, referring to the nearby Arrowsmith Independent School.
Torrance doesn’t know how the sheep ended up there.
The Ministry of Agriculture responded to a request for comment by stating that it “expects all livestock owners in B.C. to follow all regulations and requirements regarding carcass disposal.”
“If on-farm disposal is not an option, livestock owners may take their mortalities to the landfill, if their local regional district accepts the material. In this scenario, the Nanaimo Regional Landfill accepts deadstock,” said the ministry in an email.
Torrance is mostly confused about how the sheep arrived in that area in the first place.
“I just thought that it was either somebody had stolen sheep and they died, or I don’t know – who has sheep and they die and then they take them for a drive?” said Torrance.
Deceased animals on the roadside is nothing new, but it can be a bit of a maze to figure out who’s reponsible for picking them up.
Anyone noticing improper disposal of livestock can contact AgriService B.C. at 1-888-221-7141.
For pick up of non-livestock animals found within city boundaries, contact the local public works department in your jurisdiction.