July 1, 2009

Beached cow creates bureaucratic confusion

A dead brown cow found washed up on the shore of Canada's Vancouver Island created a two-day bureaucratic impasse over whose responsibility it was to remove.

The cow city workers dubbed Cuddles was reported to the city of Victoria during the weekend and staff immediately ran into trouble trying to arrange for its disposal, spokeswoman Katie Josephson told the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Apparently a cow is a special animal, she said.

Staff contacted the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as the carcass was found below the beach's high-water mark. However, agency officials said they deal with beached marine life, not cows, Josephson said.

It took more digging to determine the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has jurisdiction over dead livestock. Officials there contracted a private contractor to hoist the cow's carcass onto a flatbed truck Tuesday.

How the cow came to be washed ashore was unexplained, as was the CFIA's decision to truck the cow 700 miles east for burial in Calgary, Alberta, the report said.