“Fly tipping of the worst sort” is how one Ribble Valley resident described the actions of those who dumped 80 boxes worth of veal feet in a local watercourse to decay and fester in the hot weather.
Waddington residents Heber and Sandra Hargreaves were enjoying an afternoon stroll on Sunday between Downham and Barley when they were hit by a horrible stench.
“We smelt something really bad and then came across all these boxes and cows feet at Pendle Hill End Bridge, at the big end of Pendle,” said Heber. “You just cannot credit this sort of stupidity. We were totally appalled. It would’ve been bad enough to leave it by the road side but to put them into a watercourse is just ludicrous. One way or the other these people should be brought to task. This is simply fly tipping of the worst sort.”
Heber said that he saw at least 80 boxes of the processed veal feet which were labelled “imported from Barcelona”.
“They must have had at least six to eight feet in each of them, and when I say feet they looked more like the lower part of the leg and are about a foot long. The water must have been polluted by them, as when we walked past they were going rotten and stank,” said Heber.
Once home, Heber immediately informed the police about the incident as well as the Environment Agency and Ribble Valley Borough Council. He later discovered that more of the same boxes and their contents had also been dumped on private land in Pendle at Roughlee and Barley.
A Ribble Valley Borough Council spokesman said: “As soon as we were made aware of the fly tip, we responded immediately. We are working with the landowner to get the meat removed and have informed the Environment Agency.
“This is a particularly appalling fly tip and we are working with partner agencies to ensure the culprits are caught.”
The Hon. Ralph Assheton from Downham Estate on which some of the meat was dumped said: “When we were made aware of the gruesome mess, it was immediately reported.
“How anyone can think that dropping meat, plastic and wrapping in a country stream is an acceptable way to behave is beyond me.
“This is the fifth example of serious fly tipping along lanes in the parish in the last year alone.
“We are actively considering CCTV as a means of identifying future culprits.”
A spokeswoman for the Food Standards Agency said: “Last week the Environment Agency was made aware of frozen veal feet having been tipped at two locations in the Ribble Valley and Pendle area.
“Pendle Borough Council, Ribble Valley Borough Council, and the Food Standards Agency have all been made aware and are investigating and arranging the removal of the waste.”