Locations needed for potential deluge of animal carcasses

'In the event of an emergency situation we need to have a disposal location or disposal locations identified'

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
November 7, 2012 01:00 AM

Being the third largest cattle region in B.C. it's important the TNRD have sites ready to dispose of animal carcasses should disaster claim a mass amount of livestock, regional directors said Wednesday.

Which is why the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board is expected to approve a plan to determine suitable locations where dead livestock can be disposed of, said chair Randy Murray.

"In the event of an emergency situation we need to have a disposal location or disposal locations identified. This is about the process involved," said Murray.

The topic will be discussed during a board meeting later Thursday.

The plan has been in the works for more than a year. Ron Storie, the TNRD's manager of community services, said a geographical study needs to be done in order to determine what locations are suitable.

The study will look at a variety of potential sites, landfills included, and consider details such as soil stability and closeness to rivers, said Storie. What's important is that the soil prevent leeching as the bodies break down.

"That's the biggy right there," he said. "It will identify the places with the proper soil characteristics that could take mass carcasses."

Some landfills are well suited for disposing of a large number of dead animals, he said.

The remains of cattle, horses and other animals turned up in some rural landfills following the 2003 wildfires. Storie said this is one of the reasons the regional district began looking into the matter.

Director Ken Gillis said the dumpsites would be for livestock and other farm animals like sheep and pigs. The regional district would not be disposing of animals found dead in the wild.

"We're not talking about the deer or antelope," he said.

A regional district report says the TNRD has 44,783 tonnes of livestock representing almost 10 per cent of the province's total.

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