A pile of disposed animal remains near a biking trail outside of Hosmer has sparked concern among local trail users.
A post on social media (Warning, link contains graphic images) by a local trail user warned other users of its whereabouts.
The post described the remains as being left near the Trans Canada Trail, just outside Hosmer, heading toward Sparwood.
The Conservation Officer Service advised that this concern was brought to their attention, but at this time they have no reason to believe it was a malicious act.
They encouraged anyone who witnessed the parts being disposed, or has information indicating a violation was committed, contact the Conservation Officer Service call centre at 1-877-952-7277.
Conservation officer Jeff Piwek said that there are circumstances where a person can lawfully dispose of wildlife parts by leaving them in a wilderness area. He explained that anyone doing so is advised to ensure they have harvested all edible portions and go to an area away from homes, businesses, or locations likely to be visited by outdoor enthusiasts.
He further explained that predators can be attracted to disposal sites and it is important to avoid creating a potential conflict.
Asked if these regulations are enforced, Piwek said it would depend on the specific event, but could be investigated as attracting dangerous wildlife. He said the same charges are considered when garbage or fruit trees are not managed appropriately.
In a wilderness area, he explained that the CO Service would need to be able to show a legitimate risk to public safety; for example, if the remains were left close to a popular trail, campground, etc.
Additionally, if the parts dumped were related to a commercial activity, either from a guide or meat-cutting business, it could be investigated as depositing business waste.
Piwek added that although there is potential for enforcement action, a situation like this is primarily an ethics issue.