Different Ways to Properly Dispose Livestock

Like human beings, proper methods and processes of dealing with dead animals have been written in law for several reasons. An example is the Office of Environmental Public Health of the Oregon Public Health Division which suggested measures to be taken in disposing dead animal corpses especially during flood recover.

One major reason maybe is the hygiene concerns for all livestock production operations of both large and small livestock farms and slaughter houses. Proper disposal methods for animal carcasses are highly important because of potential for disease transfer to humans and other animals, as well as the pollution of soil, air and ground water.

Composting is the most common way of disposing dead livestock maybe because of its long proven viability. However, this method is not recommended for other herd or flock disposal cases. As mentioned above, laws and ordinances have been created to guide people on the best management practices in disposing dead livestock.


Burial is an advisable option only for small number of animal carcasses. However, carcasses must be buried as soon after death as possible. For some law, burial sites are suggested to be at least 100 feet inside your own property lines. Also, burial site must be in well drained soils and no nearby streams, surface waters, wells, springs, or other water supply facilities within 100 feet of the burial site must be ensured. The burial site must be at least two feet above the highest groundwater elevation.

Burial sites should be selected to make sure that surface water and groundwater aquifers are not hydraulically connected to the burial site. It should be not less than 6 feet deep with a minimum of 30 inches of soil cover. In addition, carcasses should be covered with agricultural lime.


Composting is like incineration. It should be done with extra care to avoid serious trouble during composting. For some governments, composting may require permission from the state’s environmental agency.

In composting dead livestock, a certain mixture of materials is done. For the underlying layer, a mixture of hay, manure and bedding with moisture content between 40 to 50 % is advisable. Odor is kept to a minimum by ensuring the covering material has carbon sources such as straw, sawdust or hay. To avoid gas buildup and possible explosion, it is advisable to puncture the rumen on cattle.

After placing the carcass, cover the pit with at least 2 feet of the same manure mixture underneath the carcass. You can add carcasses anytime but should be placed about 4 feet apart. Pile must heat up for proper composting. Colder temperatures slow the process. Thus, one may opt to increase the temperature in several ways. Approximately five to six months an adult carcass will compost when left untouched.


Burning is less likely permitted but in some areas under certain circumstances, it is. Logically, burning dead livestock needs permission from specific government agencies. This process must be done carefully. Fundamental to burning dead livestock are efficient burning process and supplemental fuel.


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