Appeal after sheep dumped

The dead sheep on the shore at Mavis Grind. Photo Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council is appealing for information after a pile of sheep carcasses were found dumped on the shore at Mavis Grind, in the islands’ north mainland.

The council has now removed the sheep, which were found on Monday morning.

This is the second year running that sheep have been dumped on this site at this time of year.


Environmental health officer Patti Dinsdale said the sheep had probably been illegally dumped after being “home killed”.

She explained that crofters are allowed to kill sheep on their own land for their own use, as long as they dispose of the carcasses by burying them properly, far away from any watercourse.

“Everything else is illegal slaughter. It should not be put on the market or even given away and it should be properly disposed of,” she said.

“If anyone knows anything about this, please get in touch with us. We would be happy to hear from anyone who gets any lamb offered to them which is not through the normal routes.”


The tags had been removed from the sheep’s ears making it impossible to identify where they had come from.

Dinsdale added that home slaughter carried a greater human health risk.

“This is due to not having had post and ante-mortem inspection, hygiene and TSE rules not being followed, skill level of the slaughterer could be limited and gross contamination of meat could occur – as well as cruelty during slaughter” she said.

“Meat from these animal should not be placed on the market – this means it can only be used by the owner and their immediate family members – even giving it away to others outside the family is an offence.”

The council’s environmental health department can be contacted on 01595 744842.