By Kirsty Topping
A SCOTTISH council left the rotting carcass of a decapitated seal at a popular beauty spot for more than three weeks.
Angus council failed to remove the body, along with another that was rotting alongside it, from Lunan Bay despite complaints from local residents.
Jules Anderson, who lives in a village near the beach, said the bloodied bodies had lain buried in the sand at the south end of the beach for some time.
She said the animals may have been the victim of a shooting but said it was important to get them off the beach as they pose a risk to the public.
“I’ve had enough and we need to get these carcasses off the beach,” She said. “Whether they have been shot or not is irrelevant – there are dead rotting carcasses on the beach and they are becoming a health hazard.”
The council said they had been trying to establish whether the responsibility for removing the animals lay with them before finally agreeing to remove them.
Jules added: “I phoned three weeks ago and nothing has been done.
“I called again last week and said the seals were still on the beach and rotting even more. The council told me it was in hand and they were dealing with it.
“They were still there so I called again and was told the reason they had not been moved was because it was a private beach. It is a public beach and I told the gentleman that this was not correct. I’ve been told they don’t have a digger any more but are hiding behind the fact by saying it’s a private beach.”
However Elizabeth Taylor, who owns the salmon fishing rights at the beach, disputed that the animals had been shot.
“There was a really big storm out at sea and all the bodies were washed ashore,’ she said.
“There were several baby seals and a larger one but I checked them myself and they have not been shot. “
She added that the salmon fishermen often buried seal corpses but that they were usually dug up by foxes.
A spokeswoman for the council said, “We have been trying to establish if the location of the dead seals brings them under council responsibility for disposal.
“The seal carcasses at Lunan Bay were removedat around 8.30am today (wed).
“The council is now looking into the ownership of this particular piece of land to establish responsibility forremoval of carcasses should such a situation arise in the future.”
Seal carcasses harbour a number of infections which can be transferred to humans, including flu, pinworms and TB.
Touching or swimming near the bodies of dead marine animals risks catching bacterial infections.
It’s not the first time the council has dragged its heels over the removal of a seal carcass.
Earlier this year the council said it would leave
“nature to take its course’ after the body of a grey seal washed up in Monifeith, 20 miles south of Lunan Bay.
The carcass washed upon a narrow strip of land, which the council deemed
The shooting of seals without a licence became illegal with the passing of the Marine (Scotland) Act last year.
The law makes it an offence to kill or injure a seal unless in possession of a licence to do so and carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison.
A new licensing system and seal conservation areas around Scotland have also been introduced.