Upper Hunter Shire Council is reminding residents and businesses to follow best practices when disposing of dead animals.
A burial area for dead stock should be at least 100 metres away from houses and watercourses according to the recommendation of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Council cautions against burying deceased horses and other stock in close proximity to watercourses to avoid the potential for water pollution which is an offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
The guidelines can be viewed on the EPA website at: www.epa.nsw.gov.au/mao/deadstockdisposal.htm
The reminder is prompted by a recent Council investigation into a complaint alleging dead race horses had been buried adjacent to a waterway on a rural property in the Upper Hunter.
Investigation by a Council Compliance Officer found that horses had been buried relatively close to a waterway and while there was no evidence of any leaching or pollution from the burial site at the time of the inspections, it may have posed a risk of pollution to the watercourse or groundwater at some point in time.
The owner acted promptly to exhume and bury the remains in accordance with the EPA guidelines.
Council waste depots accept animal remains. Current costs are $21 for a small dog or cat and $47 for a large dog, sheep, goat or pig. Cattle and horses can only be deposited for burial at Aberdeen Waste Depot at a cost of $225 and must be booked in advance with Council.
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Phone: 6540 1100
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.