Dead animal removal and risks

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Dead animals can cause infection risks to employees, the general public and the person who has to remove it.

The Councils across the UK will generally remove dead animals from public places after a report or finding of the animal. There are conditions and some say that they have to be of a certain size or quantity. With small wild animals, they may be left for nature to take its course.

If a dead dog or cat is found or reported in a public place the council will carefully and hygienically take the animal to be scanned by either a local vet or utilising the council’s dog/cat warden team to see if it contains a microchip. If a chip is located the owners will be notified before the disposal of the animal if no chip is found the council will be in charge of the disposal. The council will not remove dead animals from houses. When such a service is required, customers are advised to contact a vet or recognised pet undertaker.

In Principle, the council will only collect roadkill involving Dogs, Goats, Cattle, Horses, Pigs and Sheep all of which are mentioned in the road traffic act in relation to reportable accidents involving motor vehicles. Larger wild animals such as Foxes, Badgers and Deer are usually also removed. This list is not exhaustive and each case is usually considered on its merits.

If you are responsible for the collection of dead animals you must follow local rules and regulations of where you work. It is important that removed all animals are disposed of as quickly as possible for health and hygiene reasons. You will need to pick up using appropriate personal protective equipment the body and as much other waste as possible.

Once the area is clear, you can disinfect the area to not only ensure the scene is infection-free but also to eliminate any odours.

If animals or birds die in homes or businesses where it is not found for a few days, sometimes the smell is the first sign. When removing the body, there may be maggots and other insects as well as an infection risk.

Body decomposition will depend on many factors including the size of the animal, temperature, humidity, time, insects, flies, airflow and the general environment where it is found.