Animal deaths are unavoidable on the farm and farmers need a plan and methods for managing both “routine” (normal and natural) mortality and “mass carcass” (catastrophic or disaster) management plans.

These plans are required parts of a NPDES Permit, the NRCS CNMP, and virtually all voluntary environmental stewardship programs.

All states have dead animal regulations which describe the management of dead animals in that particular state. The intent of these laws is to:

  1. Protect human and animal health
  2. Reduce risk of disease transmission
  3. Control flies, vermin and scavenging animal problems
  4. Protect ground and surface water and air quality

Methods of managing routine on-farm mortalities are provided for in a state’s regulations and most often include: burial (on-farm and (or) landfill), incineration, rendering, and composting. Methods of managing mortalities in a major animal health emergency are provided for under a memorandum between the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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