Someone is dumping bags of animal bones along the Mohawk River in Utica. Bags and bags of bones.

A field in Utica has turned into an animal dumping ground. Ryan McGraw stumbled across more than a dozen bags of animal bones while out on his bike Saturday, May 14. "I was riding along the Mohawk River on Interceptor Road, off Leland Avenue, and got a whiff of this awful smell. All I see are garbage bags around me with bones inside. I thought I was at a murder scene."

Warning: Photos are graphic and may be disturbing

Credit - Ryan McGraw
Credit - Ryan McGraw
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How Long Have Bones Been There

Taking a closer look at the bags, McGraw said the bones have probably been by the road for a while. "With the number of flies inside the bag, I’m gonna say they have been there for a few weeks."

Credit - Ryan McGraw
Credit - Ryan McGraw
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Someone Cleans Up

Three days later McGraw went back to take pictures and a video of the dumping ground but someone had cleaned up. "There were only a few, but on Saturday when I first went there were about 15."

Credit - Ryan McGraw
Credit - Ryan McGraw
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Bones From What Animal

What type of animal were the bones from? At first, McGraw said he thought they were from deer, but changed his mind after doing a little more investigating. "It looks to be cow bones. You can see black and white hairs down the leg."

Credit - Ryan McGraw
Credit - Ryan McGraw
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McGraw called the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and said he was told, “if there is no tag in its ear, there is nothing we can do.” That just allows hunters to poach and dump with no penalty."

Animal Laws

What are the laws against dumping animal carcasses? “Legally, you cannot dump the carcass along the side of a roadway, near a boat ramp, in a creek, or on public property,” Emmett Keyser, assistant director for the Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife said. “This is criminal littering, and you can be cited for it."

 

The animal cruelty law in New York State states:

The carcasses of large domestic animals, including but not limited to horses, cows, sheep, swine, goats, and mules, which have died otherwise than by slaughter, shall be buried at least three feet below the surface of the ground or otherwise disposed of in a sanitary manner by the owner of such animals, whether the carcasses are located on the premises of such owner or elsewhere.

Dumping animal bones along the side of a road is bad enough. But why put them in plastic bags? If they were left out in the open they could at least decompose and help feed the other wildlife.

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