CONCERNS have been expressed after two dead cows were apparently illegally dumped in and near an Annandale river.
The decomposing carcasses were discovered on two separate occasions recently in the Dryfe Water near Sibbaldbie.
Their ear tags had been removed so it cannot easily be traced where the animals came from.
But the walkers who found them and nearby residents and farmers all believe they were intentionally discarded.
Savills, which manages the Balgray estate, arranged for the removal of one of the cows a couple of weeks ago, and the second carcass was finally taken away yesterday.
But the incident has infuriated people living in the valley who say the dead cows should have been dealt with sooner.
One Sibbaldbie resident said: “The beasts were rotting and stinking to high heaven, you could smell them from 20 metres away.
“If these cows had been dumped in the Nith it would’ve been dealt with as soon as possible, but because we’re a wee backwater community they were left to rot.
“But the bigger concern is that someone dumped these cows in river, what farmer thinks that’s ok? They’ve covered their tracks by removing the ear tags but it’s an issue that defies belief.”
In response to residents’ concerns, a spokesperson for Savills yesterday said: “This has been a distressing set of circumstances for local residents as well as those estate workers involved in the removal of the carcasses.
“The cows do not belong to the estate and it appears the carcasses have been illegally dumped in the river. Their ear identification tags seem to have been deliberately removed, so it has not been possible to trace the owner.
“The carcasses had clearly been washed downstream on to estate property; the first having been located on a field close to the river bank, and the second within the Dryfe Water itself.
“The estate has arranged safe removal of both carcasses, whilst ensuring minimal disturbance to the river habitat, and has paid for their disposal using an approved disposal contractor.
“SEPA has been notified.”