BRITISH COLUMBIA: Beached bovine poses puzzle for city
Posted: June 30th, 2009 - 11:42am
Source: Times Colonist
A brown cow that washed ashore near Clover Point over the weekend became quite the bureaucratic mess yesterday for the City of Victoria.
Officials spent the day figuring out how they were going to remove the rotting cow from the popular beach and who they needed to consult in the process.
"There is no guidebook that says what you do when a cow washes up on the beach," said city spokeswoman Katie Josephson.
There were lots of removal options on the table.
The city considered lifting the cow off the beach with a crane perched on the top of the bluff, towing it to a nearby boat launch or taking an excavator down onto the beach to pick it up.
But before the city could proceed, it needed the permission of the proper authorities, and that proved trickier than you might think.
Because the cow was slumped on the beach below the high-water mark, it was technically in the federal government's jurisdiction, so the city contacted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
But DFO, as the city soon learned, only deals with beached sea life, not livestock. For that, the city had to call the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to authorize the cow's removal.
"The CFIA is walking us through the permitting process," Josephson said.
The city usually removes two or three washed-up animals from its beaches each year, but Josephson said the cow threw them for a loop.
"Believe me, the thinking caps are on," she said. "We've tossed around all sorts of ideas and again, because it's a cow we will take the lead from CFIA." The saga of the beached cow and the city's efforts to remove it was a reminder of a strange scene from 1997, when medical health officer Richard Stanwick lit the stinking carcass of a sea lion on fire because the rotting animal was deemed a public health risk.