Question by Edd S: What safety measures do I need to take when disposing of dead animals found on my land?
I work for a company and we frequently find dead fox’s and other wild animals dead when they have been hit by a train or electrocuted. We have to bag these and dispose of these ourselves – what controls should we have in place to protect our staff? I know risk assess – but if you have some pointers this would be helpful.
Answer by Matthew D
Wear long handled surgical gloves and wash your hands/arms afterwards. If you get to them soon enough they don’t smell bad or aren’t that messy, but after a few days it can be pretty gross.
However, since they were probably healthy before they got hit by a train/electric wire, etc, most of the things (microbes and etc) that live in those dead animals are naturally all around us all the time, they are in the dirt, they are on your skin before you ever touched the animal. They moved inside the animal once the white blood cell count dropped because the heart stopped beating, but they aren’t going to move inside you. You’ve been exposed them already, and they can’t hurt a healthy human. (If you have cancer/HIV/pregnant/running a fever/open wounds/etc, then you aren’t healthy, and should avoid it.) If you were picked up animals that died of weird illnesses that you didn’t understand, (if you find a flock of dead chickens with no signs of trauma, for instance,) you’ll want to wear a full body suit and a self contained breathing system…
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