How Long After An Animal Dies Is It Safe To Eat?

February 14, 2024

Often when wild animals die, they become food for scavengers such as birds (e.g. raven, buzzard) and mammals (e.g. fox, wild boar). Scavengers also include insects such as beetles and flies. In nature the carcasses decompose on their own, but in an urban or suburban environment they may be re-located in someone’s attic, under a house, in the backyard or even inside a shed. If you find a dead animal, it will usually smell very bad due to biological decomposition and will be attracting swarms of flies, beetles and other insects.

A dead animal can be a source of disease if it has died from a poisonous substance or a snake bite for example. The physician advised that cooking the meat from an animal that had eaten a deadly substance will not destroy the poison and warned against eating such meat.

The physician also warned that eating meat from animals whose cause of death is unknown could also be dangerous. She said that people should only eat meat that has been certified fit for consumption and prepared in hygienic conditions. In addition, she advised that people should not eat meat from animals that were infected with diseases such as foot and mouth disease, brucellosis or tuberculosis. It is also not advisable to consume the meat of animals that died from a suspected poisonous substance or a snake bite. This is because these animals are not likely to have been slaughtered in a hygienic condition by a competent butcher.


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