Health risk from dead dolphin - appeal for information

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) are appealing for information regarding the removal of a dolphin carcass from a beach in Ness.

A new born white beaked dolphin calf washed-up on Stoth beach in Ness on Sunday, however while in the process of arranging collection for a post mortem the dolphin was removed from the beach on Monday by an unknown person.

Sandy MacDonald, Area Co-ordinator of BDMLR Outer Hebrides, explained: “It is common for these animals to die from and also carry diseases that are transmissible to humans and domestic animals and, while it is possible the person who removed the body did so to bury it, there is a possibility that they may have done so to use it for fishing bait/dog food/compost or a number of other uses that would put them, their pets and their family at risk of infection with a highly unpleasant illness if they were at all exposed to the animal’s body fluids.”

He continued: “Although marine mammals are protected by law, and it is an offence to remove them or any part of them without a license, I am more concerned about the person’s health and the whereabouts of the dolphin and urge anyone who can help to get in touch as even what is left of the animal’s remains would be of use to the Stranding Scheme but more importantly we will be able to advise the person involved on what treatment to seek should they have been exposed.”

If you have any information about the dolphin carcass or would like any advice please contact Sandy on 07902728411 or email

All marine mammals that are found on our shores are protected by Law and should be reported to SMASS on 01463 243030. You can find some more info about their work here