A DEAD animal on the banks of the river Wye in Hereford next to a popular walking route cannot be removed.

The animal, first thought to be a dog, was reported to Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue who attended to see if anything could be done to help the animal.

The charity and Herefordshire Council contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places both attended the scene, near Victoria Bridge, on Wednesday evening (January 22), but discovered the animal was a dead calf.

The animal cannot be removed, and while some Hereford Times readers have questioned why the carcass should just be left, others have pointed out workers shouldn't risk their safety.

"We went down there in the dark but couldn't retrieve it," said Dawn Turner, of the animal rescue charity.

"Because the river levels have dropped, it's now exposed. Balfour Beatty gave an update on Thursday and said it wasn't a dog, but it was a calf that had probably been swept away from somewhere.

"We got involved because we thought it was a dog, and everything that could've been done was done."

Workers have not been able to remove the animal and it's thought they will be unable to do so due where the calf is on the river bank, as well as its condition.

"Balfour Beatty Living Places was made aware of a dead animal on the banks of the River Wye in Hereford and attended to assess the situation," a spokesperson said.

"Our team has been unable to get close enough to safely identify the animal and current conditions mean it cannot be safely removed due to its position on the river bank.

"We are sorry for any distress that this may cause. The Environment Agency has been informed."

Sadie Biddle on Facebook said the authorities were "disgusting" for not taking the animal away, but Karen Jaggard questioned why workers safety should be compromised.

"Sorry but while it’s not the nicest of things to have to walk by and see everyday, whatever it is is dead," said Karen Jaggard.

"Why on earth should someone go to the river that is running dangerously high and risk their life to remove a dead animal?

"That person, presuming it would be a man is someone’s husband, father, grandfather, how would you feel walking past the spot someone died at everyday just to remove an unsightly carcass?

"It will get washed away and end up as fish food as nature intended given a few more days of rain."