A drowned dairy cow sat decaying in the River Illen, near Skibbereen, Co Cork, for “several weeks”, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The Department said the bovine carcase “travelled several kilometres downstream from its holding of origin” and that it “proved challenging to access”.

The farmer had reported the cow missing several weeks ago and it is only in the last fortnight that they were able to locate it.

A member of the public reported the carcase in the river, which is understood to have been there since at least early April.

Department officials confirmed the dead cow has now been disposed of to a knackery by its owner.

“The Department has not received any further reports of dead cattle in the River Ilen,” they said.