Residents are calling for urgent action after dozens of boxes of calves’ feet were dumped in two country lanes in Pendle possibly contaminating local water courses.
The boxes containing the animal parts, which are believed to have been imported from Spain, have been dumped on Jinny Lane, Roughlee, and on Barley New Road, Barley, and are rotting in the warm weather.
Concerned about the impact on local streams, Roughlee resident and parish councillor Simon Cronshaw posted on Monday on the Facebook group Roughlee Then and Now: “The animal feet dumped on Jinny Lane are all still there – the disposal and clean-up is apparently in hand, but in the meantime please note that some are in the water, so the Dimpenley Clough stream down past Happy Valley and into the main White Hough Water through Roughlee is very likely to be infected. To be safe please avoid going into the water especially in the hot weather until it has been properly cleaned up and checked.”
A multi-agency operation and investigation is currently ongoing to remove the waste and to find the fly tipping culprits.
Pendle Borough Council, the Environment Agency and the Food Standards Agency have all been informed, as have Ribble Valley Borough Council, which is dealing with a similar fly tipping incident between Downham and Barley.
The Mayor of Pendle and Pendle Borough Councillor for Higham and Pendleside, Coun. James Starkie said: “It’s a disgusting act, made worse by the fact that some of the body parts have gone into the stream. I really hope that it hasn’t polluted the water course and I’ve asked Pendle’s officers for an immediate update on the possibilities of contamination. I also hope that we can identify who did this and bring them to justice.“
A spokeswoman for the Food Standards Agency said: “Last week the Environment Agency was made aware of frozen veal feet having been tipped at two locations in the Ribble Valley and Pendle area. Pendle Borough Council, Ribble Valley Borough Council, and the Food Standards Agency have all been made aware and are investigating and arranging the removal of the waste.”
Philip Mousdale, corporate director for Pendle Council, said: “As soon as we were made aware of the dumped meat, we responded immediately. We’ve tracked down the landowner and we’re working with them to ensure the meat is removed as soon as possible.”
However, Roughlee resident Robert Carson said action needs to be taken now rather than wait for the landowner who is being asked to clean up waste which has been fly tipped on their land.
“It would seem that everybody in authority is more concerned about passing the book than cleaning up this disgusting mess,” said Mr Carson. “Are we going to have to wait months, or years, for the courts to issue an enforcement order to force whoever owns this land to take action? Or is Pendle Council going to remove this serious health hazard then worry about who pays the bill later?”
He added that the stream is close to Roughlee school and that families will be allowing their children to play in the water during the current heat wave. Mr Carson warned that the annual village duck race will be held in the stream in a month’s time and that until the matter is resolved, the council should erect warning signs saying that the water could be polluted.