Rotting livestock carcasses have been hauled from a Welsh river in the latest of five similar incidents at the same location.

The carcasses were dumped into the Afon Cywyn at Pont Ddu near Llanybri, Carmarthenshire, but so far the culprits have not been tracked down.

The incidents threaten the salmon and sea trout populations in the popular fishing river, a tributary of the River Taff.

Natural Resources Wales – the Welsh rural and environment agency – has launched a public appeal for information that could help identify the offenders, who face fines of up to £5,000 and a possible prison sentence.

Philip Evans, a senior animal health officer at Carmarthenshire County Council, said the offence was a serious one.

“Waste of this nature is classed as animal by-products and there is specific legislation to govern its correct disposal. This is in place to prevent any potential disease that may be present from spreading which could have serious consequences for all livestock holders in the immediate area,” he said.

Jon Willington, who is heading the investigation at Natural Resources Wales, said rotting carcasses strip oxygen from the water and impact on the survival of wildlife.

“This kind of activity could be simply to save money on the cost of disposal, but ultimately it could harm our rivers and the local economy,” he said. “If anyone has any information that could help with our investigation, or wish to report any incident of pollution, they can contact us anonymously 24 hours a day on 0800 80 70 60.”

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