Animal protection officers were called in after two horse heads and several horse legs were found dumped in a Langley ditch last week.
Shawn Eccles, of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said his agency's night dispatcher was called by police who had received a tip about the body parts in south Langley's Brookswood neighbourhood at about 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 8. Eccles said he was surprised the SPCA was called as there was no evidence of cruelty to the animals, such as a bullet hole through the skull.
He said there is no way of knowing how the horses were killed or where they came from, but it's suspected the body parts were dumped after the horses were home-slaughtered for their meat. It's not even confirmed, he said, that the heads and legs belong together. The only way to find out is to do costly DNA tests, which the SPCA is not planning.
"It's very easy for someone to go to auction and pick up an animal and do a home slaughter," Eccles said. "We'd be more interested in knowing if anyone had any lost or stolen horses and there's nothing on that."
Langley RCMP Const. Holly Marks said police have no idea where the horses came from. She said the SPCA was contacted to assist with the disposal.
But while the SPCA had previously collected animal body parts across Metro Vancouver and disposed of them in waste incinerators at local shelters, Eccles said the organization now only has contracts with Burnaby and Maple Ridge. "I wouldn't have picked them up unless there was cruelty involved," he said. "We're not here to pick up trash in the City or Township of Langley."
The SPCA is now stuck with the horse heads and legs, Eccles said, and will have to bear the costs of hiring a contractor to deal with the waste. It had previously cost the SPCA 40 to 50 cents a pound for disposal of animal waste.
According to Langley Township bylaw officials, the dumping of the horse parts would be considered illegal dumping. If caught red-handed, the dumper would face a $150 fine, but few such people are caught.
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