WALKERS on Hounslow Heath reacted in horror after park keepers refused to remove a dead dog.
The animal, which was discovered last Saturday, October 27, near the car park at the north-east corner of the heath, was given a makeshift grave two days after being reported.
One dog walker said she was disgusted to find the corpse covered with a mound of soil rather than being properly buried or otherwise disposed of.
"It's right near the car park entrance, where everybody comes and goes," Judy Wyndham, who walks her dog twice a day on the heath, told the Chronicle.
"It's a public health risk because it's only a matter of time before rats or foxes get at it. I feel it should have been removed as soon as it was reported."
Ms Wyndham claimed the council's dog warden had visited the scene to see if the dog's owners could be traced but was unsuccessful.
She added that the corpse was already quite 'maggoty' by the time park keepers covered it with soil last Monday, October 29.
However, a spokeswoman for John Laing Integrated Services, which manages the heath on behalf of the council, defended the actions of its employees.
"We are aware of the situation and are satisfied we have taken an appropriate and prompt course of action to dispose of the dog's carcass," she said.
"The animal was buried in accordance with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) guidelines."
DEFRA's website recommends the burial of dead pets on the site where they were found but states that it must be done in such a way that other animals cannot gain access to the carcass so as not to 'endanger human health or the environment'.
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