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Dispose Of Animals Carefully, Properly
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A dead animal dumped along a highway or a river bank decreases Mississippi's aesthetic appeal, and breaks new laws concerning proper disposal.
Proper disposal of dead animals is not just an issue for hunters. Disposal laws include all kinds of animals from pets to livestock.
"From our perspective at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, discarding wildlife waste or animal carcasses is an aesthetic problem that leads to foul odors, the spreading of disease and the attraction of flies," said Bill Barnett, chief of groundwater division of the Mississippi's DEQ Jackson.
"Individuals who need to dispose of an animal can place it in a garbage bag and dispose of it with the regular garbage that goes to a licensed landfill," Barnett said.
"Many times for convenience sake, dead animals are dumped along roadsides, rivers or onto the private property of others," said Capt. Mackie Thornton, conservation manager with Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in Tupelo. "That type of dumping is a great mistake because of the recent amendment to state law that specifies it is illegal to dump dead animals near any public road or right-of-way or on land without the permission of the landowner.
"A conviction of illegal dumping of a dead animal means the violator will pay a fine and pay for the carcass removal, property restoration and legal fees. Also, community service may be required," said Dean Stewart, Extension associate with Mississippi State University's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
"One tip for hunters and hunting clubs is to use as much of the animal as possible, and create a special site for disposal or composting," Stewart said.
To do this, however, requires that the individual or club own the land on which the remains are left. A composting site is recommended, especially for clubs. It is not expensive and produces fertilizer for later use.
"If not composted, what does remain of the animal should be placed where scavengers such as coyotes and vultures can aid in disposal, provided that the land on which the remains are left is owned by the club or the individual," Stewart said.