Beached whlae

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is advising people not to touch the four Pilot whale carcasses because they pose health risks. (CBC)

The carcasses of four Pilot whales and an Atlantic white-sided dolphin have been rotting along the western side of Cape Breton island for two weeks now.

They were discovered in Cheticamp, Port Hood and Mabou.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada spokesperson Krista Petersen said it’s up to the municipality to remove the carcasses.

Dead dolphin

This Atlantic white-sided dolphin washed ashore in Cape Breton. (CBC)

“They're still on the beaches. The municipal Department of Public Works was contacted to advise them of the presence of the animals and it's not the responsibility of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but in fact the municipality to choose whether or not the animals will be removed,” she said.

“No one has requested samples to be taken so that's the end of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ involvement with these animals.”

Petersen said the pilot whales are known to travel in groups and this is not the first time this kind of beaching has happened.

The department is advising people not to touch the carcasses because they pose health risks.