Beached bovines raise a stink

Dead cows floating around South Whidbey and Camano Island are raising a stink with property owners.

Keith Higman, director of Island County Public Health, said his office received a call about a bloated bovine on a South Whidbey beach about a week and a half ago. On Monday, another cow cadaver was reported on a beach just south of Camano Island State Park.

In both cases, Higman said his office was powerless to do anything about the nuisance because the carcasses weren’t spreading disease to humans  — assuming no one gnaws on them.

It was the property owners’ responsibility to deal with the giant masses of rotting hamburger, he said.

Under state law, unwanted dead animals can be rendered, incinerated, buried or hauled to a landfill.

In the case of the dead cow on South Whidbey, a high tide did the job and floated that cow’s body out to sea.

“People were taking photos of it floating around the ferry,” he said. “Pretty exciting stuff.”

That carcass later landed on another South Whidbey beach.


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