Locate it on a solid spot where the ground slopes 1 to 2%. For many Oregon livestock owners struggling with the disposal of animal mortality and byproducts, rendering is not a viable option. North Dakota state law requires anthrax-infected carcasses be incinerated or buried at least 6 feet deep on the same site where they died if possible. Methods and processes of dealing with dead animals have always been and continue to be a concern in all animal production operations both large and small, slaughter plants, and other facilities that have animals. Iowa State University – Iowa Extension. Death is a normal part of any animal production enterprise. This section concentrates on issues pertaining to household and construction waste, open dumps, used tires and oil, pesticide containers, disposal of dead animals, and septic tanks. Due to placement and handling limitations of large carcasses, composting may not be practical to consider during a massive infectious disease outbreak. Safe disposal of carcasses is an important issue for day-to-day, routine management of livestock and poultry mortalities to prevent disease transmission and to protect air and water quality. Livestock owners need to take proper precautions, such as fencing the trenched area, with this system because an open trench can be a safety hazard. There will be less bony residue with younger carcasses.Calves, for instance, may compost in three to four weeks under summer conditions. 3 Post mortem (opening the body of the dead animal to check it). Step Five. From a biosecurity point of view, burial is a viable option. There is an old saying, "where there are livestock, there are 'deadstock'." This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure: laying the straw base and measuring the perimeter after laying carcass. Transporting carcasses for offsite disposal In the process of rendering, the carcasses are exposed to high temperatures (about 130 C or 265 F) using pressurized steam to ensure destruction of most pathogens. On-farm composting of dead animals generated on the same farm as the composting facility is exempt from having a permit if operated in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture regulations. Additional space is for co-composting material storage and handling. Journal of Environmental Quality. Similarly, proper maintenance of compost piles or windrows (for example, temperature between 90 and 140 F, moisture ranges between 50 and 60 percent on a wet basis, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio ranges between 20:1 and 25:1, turning) is required to avoid anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions during the composting process that can contribute to odor issues and greenhouse gas emissions, including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) (Hao et al., 2001; Xu et al., 2007). Burn Barrels and Open Burning (Ag Waste Burning, Sec. Burn Barrels/Open Burning (Ag Waste Burning, Sec. 2007. Virginia Coperative Extension. If you notice excessive odors, add more cover material to the outside of the pile. Burning carcasses in a pit on the site is an acceptable method of disposal in North Dakota. Burial cannot be in a wetland, floodplain or shoreline area. Thomas. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, for instance, does not require a permit. Refer to the “Burial” section on choosing an appropriate location. Colder temperatures slow the compost process. Also, incinerators must be loaded and operated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Composting is a naturally occurring process in which the dead animal is broken down into basic elements (organic matter) by microorganisms, bacteria and fungi. 2007. USDA-HPAI 2016. Anthrax. Ames. Glanville, T.D., Ahn, H.K., Richard, T.L., Shiers, L.E., and Harmon, J.D. Mortality Management.www.lpes.org/Lessons/Lesson51/51_Mortality_Management.html, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources. This FDA regulation is aimed at protecting against the transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as BSE, but rendering facilities charge additional fees for the processing requirement. Small and medium-sized carcasses can be composted in a three-sided enclosure (for example, a bin) constructed on compacted clay soil or a concrete floor (Figure 2). Typically, turning frequency should be based on pile temperature, and turning should occur when the compost pile temperature exceeds 140 F or drops below 90 F. A conventional pile and windrow composting system is a better method for large animals (for example, mature cattle or pigs). Journal of Applied Microbiology. Each option has a set of advantages and disadvantages that must be considered during planning for and prior to mortality disposal. Mukhtar, S., Nash, C., Harman, W., and Padia, R. 2008. Land Grant. There are four known methods that you can make use of namely landfills, composting, burial, and burning. This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure: placing liner, Figure 3. Composting of carcasses is recognized as an effective method by the biosecurity agencies in the U.S. and other countries to manage routine and emergency management of mortalities (Wilkinson, 2007). Stoltenow, C.L., and Hammer, C.J. Rynk, R.F. Manure may be used if enough bedding is incorporated with it. Incineration is the thermal destruction of carcasses by auxiliary fuel such as propane, diesel or natural gas. Carcasses can be added anytime but should be spaced about 4 feet apart. Greenhouse gas emissions during cattle feedlot manure composting. 2001. Consider personnel and property safety and choose a proper location away from the public view. A conventional composting pile is managed vigorously in the beginning to maintain aerobic and thermophilic conditions (greater than 105 F) to encourage rapid rates of decomposition, elimina- tion of objectionable odors, and the destruction of pathogens and weed seeds (Wilkinson, 2007). The Missouri Dead Animal Disposal Statute was passed by the 86th General Assembly and … Incineration is a preferred method for managing small carcasses (for example, poultry and swine), but often large carcasses and/or a large number of mortalities cannot be handled due to the small incineration capacities (mostly are limited to less than 300 pounds per head) of most on-site farm incinerators. 5 easy steps for composting dead livestock. Figure 3. Temperatures around the carcass will rise to 150 to 160 degrees. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Carcass composting typically is done in one of three primary facility types: a bin, a static windrow or a minicomposter (Keener et al., 2000). Also, the disposal site should be away from any residence, drinking water well, shallow aquifers or areas that may be flooded. Hogs that have died from hog cholera or swine erysipelas also must be burned on site within 36 hours. Put on gloves before handling the plastic bag. ©2020 University of Massachusetts Amherst • Site Policies, Best Management Practices (BMP)/Environmental Protection, www.lpes.org/Lessons/Lesson51/51_Mortality_Management.html, UMass Extension Crops, Dairy, Livestock and Equine Program, Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Modern incinerators reduce carcasses to ash and generally are biosecure. If done properly, composting animal carcasses is an environmentally safe disposal option to manage emergency mortalities that do not require very high temperatures for complete destruction of transmissible diseases such as BSE. Turning the pile mixes the materials and rebuilds the porosity of the windrow. Some of the suitable carbon sources are wood chips about 2 inches or less, wood shavings, yard/brush trimming less than 2 inches, chopped hay/straw, chopped corn stover, oat/sunflower hulls, ground pallets and manure with no previous concerns. Place the mortality on the base material. Turan, N.G., Akdemir, A., and Ergun, O.N. The disposal trench bottom should be compacted and mortalities should be placed in 3- to 4-feet layers in the disposal trench. Incineration requires a great deal of energy, compared with other disposal methods, and is not considered a viable economic disposal option due to cost and labor. Producers may have losses due to disease, accidents, inter-animal competition or natural disasters such as flooding or blizzard. Composting large animal carcasses. Phone (617) 626-1700. If you decide to bury the animal, the site should not be in an area with a shallow water table or . 5 Burning dead animals. Tie a knot in the top of the bag. Use a long-handled shovel to pick up the dead animal and place it into a plastic bag. The regulations came into force on Friday, March 27, 2009. Typically, a minimum 12- to 16-inch layer of co-composting material around all sides of the carcass will discourage predators, control odors and eliminate flies. Prompt burial will prevent nuisance problems such as odors, flies and scavengers. Xu, S., Hao, X., Stanford, K., McAllister, T., Larney, F.J., and Wang, J. On-Farm Composting Handbook. Nonetheless, wintertime composting is still a viable option as opposed to digging into the frozen ground. 237.101) Defined as the “combustion of any matter in the open or in an open dump” (415 ILCS 5/3.300), open burning has become a common trash disposal method in parts of Illinois for years. (A) Incineration of dead animals shall be accomplished in an approved incineration facility, or by a mobile air curtain incinerator at a site approved by the Executive Director. Composting Dead Livestock – A new solution to an old problem. However, rendering poses biosecurity concerns due to the transportation of livestock mortalities to multiple locations en route to the rendering plant (Fonstad et al., 2003). Often, during the carcass composting process, liquid may drain from the composting pile; the liquid needs to be contained. Carcass composting is considered one of the best disposal options due to its greater affordability, better biosecurity and low inputs and investment requirements, but composting needs proper management for complete decomposition and to ensure that objectionable odors are not generated. In pile or windrow composting, typically walls and roofs are not used to ease access for loading, unloading and mixing of the pile or windrow from all sides , (Figure 3). Wilkinson, K.G. Composting has gained popularity in areas where burial and incineration are not practical or have become restricted. For bovine mortalities older than 30 months, Clark says options include on-farm burial and composting. Cover the carcass with 8 to 10 inches of bulking material and cover that with another 1 to 2 feet of cover material (same as the base material) to make up the cover. 36: 1914-1919. The pile must heat up for proper composting. (This method is not recommended for whole herd or flock disposal cases). Xu, W., Reuter, T., Inglis, G.D., Larney, F.J., Alexander, T.W., Guan, J., Stanford, K., Xu, Y., and McAllister, T.A. Disposal of dead animals on a farm should . Love this story? Dead Animal Disposal Options in Indiana NOTE: These rules do NOT apply to small animal species, such as fish, reptiles, dogs, cats and small game. Burning is not recommended as livestock are attracted to any remaining ash or carcass which can spread the disease and cause multiple stock deaths. How to Remove Dead Animal Odor. Dr. 1999. Boston. AgriLife Extension Bulletin, Texas A&M University, B-6209. 152 Riley-Robb Hall. 4 How to bury animals. Each of these options is described briefly in the following sections. A biosecure composting system for disposal of cattle carcasses and manure following infectious disease outbreak. Windrows are aerated primarily via natural air movement or passive air movement (Rynk, 1992). If you accounted for your purchase as an asset you can record the loss of the cow by indicating the cow was sold. However, frequent turning of an active compost pile during a disease outbreak may increase the risk of generation and release of airborne particulates that can carry infectious microbes (Xu et al., 2009). Complete destruction of pathogens and weed seeds occurs by maintaining thermophilic conditions during the active composting period. As a general guide, 3 to 5 cubic yards of co-composting material is required for every 1,000 pounds of carcass (Auvermann et al., 2006). In North Dakota, the bottom of the disposal trench must be 4 feet above any permanent water table, and the trench must be a minimum horizontal distance of 200 feet from the nearest surface water. The turning operation mixes the composting materials and enhances passive aeration. Anyone burying dead livestock needs to take personnel and equipment safety precautions during trench digging, carcass handling, placing carcasses in the trench and backfilling the trench with soil. For instance, if you bury an animal, make sure vultures can't get to it, especially if the animal was at risk for a disease. The capital cost of incineration may be a limiting factor for some producers, but poultry and small-livestock producers may find incineration to be a convenient option to dispose of mortalities as they are generated, eliminating the need for temporary storage. Curriculum. Piles and windrows for mortality composting usually are constructed in the open on a compacted soil (for example, clay soil) or a concrete floor to control water infiltration. Factsheets in this series were prepared by, Masoud Hashemi, Stephen Herbert, Carrie Chickering-Sears, Sarah Weis, Carlos Gradil, Steve Purdy, Mark Huyler, and Randy Prostak, in collaboration with Jacqui Carlevale. In a wet rendering process, steam enters the rendering tank, along with the biomass. Composting has advantages over other methods of carcass disposal, including lower costs, easy-to-prepare piles and windrows created with available on-farm machinery, and lower risk of air and water pollution when done properly. When temperatures fall to 110 to 125 degrees, stir the material with a bucket loader, allowing oxygen to re-activate the composting. Minicomposters are used for small-carcass (for example, poultry) composting and are not suitable to handle large volumes of animal mortalities. A base of sawdust, wheat straw, or other suitable carbon source 12 to 18 inches in depth is required, depending on carcass size. The biosecurity of on-farm mortality composting. Step Two. Next, treat the area with a disinfectant, odor neutralizer, or masking agent and ventilate the site with a fan (preferably one that forces stagnant air out the windows). As one bin is being filled, another is in the primary stages of composting and the third is in the secondary stages (secondary heat cycle) of composting. Proper composting techniques will destroy most disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Website: www.mass.gov/agr. Often, excessive pollutants can build up in burial sites, and leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus into water bodies causes eutrophication (Turan et al., 2007). This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure:  breaking up a round straw bale. 198: 285-295. The cover material may settle or be disturbed by wind, so be sure to check the pile periodically. Suite 500. Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our, Animal Carcass Disposal Options Rendering • Incineration • Burial • Composting, 5 easy steps for composting dead livestock. –Burning with no smoke stack present • on-ground, in pits, in barrels or tanks • only on site vegetation & wood waste –Prime with #1 and #2 fuel oil, vegetation grown on burn site and wood waste –Only allowed for dead animals when no other safe and/or practical disposal method exists (catastrophic event?) For a northern climate, additional insulation might be required to reach the desired temperatures for pathogen destruction and effective degradation (Keener et al., 2000). Monitor temperatures every two to three weeks. As per 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture-HPAI response mortality composting guidelines, suitable carbon sources are key for proper windrow or pile preperatrion and maintaining a consistent temperature during composting. Animal mortality losses are a normal part of livestock and poultry production facilities. Following the active composting phase, additional time (days to weeks, depending on composting conditions) may be needed for small- and medium-sized carcasses to complete decomposition (phase II), while large carcasses may require months. Place the carcass on a bed of wood chips 2 feet deep, then cover it to a depth of about 4 feet, with at least 2 feet on the sides. Use a compost-style dial thermometer, ideally with a 30-inch long probe, to monitor the temperature. Guidelines for in-house composting poultry mortality as a rapid response to avian influenza. Resources from UMass Extension and the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment: ag.umass.edu/coronavirus. Do not touch the animal. However, selection of a proper composting site is important to prevent surface water runoff to the compost site and runoff of leachate from the compost site, as well as leaching of raw or finished compost nutrients to groundwater. Figure 2. 2003. Construct a windrow 10 feet wide by 4 feet deep of the dry manure and bedding mixture. Burning carcasses in a pit on the site is an acceptable method of disposal in North Dakota. Producers have several options for disposing of carcasses, including rendering, incineration, burial and composting. Consider personnel and property safety and choose a proper location away from the public view. "Basically, it looks like a pile of mulch," he said. Or they can be left in the pile. 38: 437-450. Composting is the preferred method of carcass disposal because it can be implemented rapidly on farms at minimum cost. 2009. Hao, X., Chang, C., Larney, F.J., and Travis, G.R. When another carcass needs to be added, the carcass can be placed in the trench immediately and covered even if the ground is frozen. … Odor nuisance complaints generated due to a poorly functioning incinerator are common. Digestion of dead animals shall be accomplished in a properly designed and sized dead animal digester approved by the Executive Director. Figure 3. As an underlying layer, or substrate, use a mixture of hay, manure and bedding with moisture content between 40 to 50 %. Find the complete procedure in the NDSU Extension publication “Anthrax”. Shafiqur Rahman, Associate Professor, North Dakota State University, Mary Berg, Area Extension Livestock, Environmental Management Specialist, North Dakota State University. Therefore, carcass disposal remains one of the major problems facing livestock and poultry producers. The Dead Animal Disposal Act (1968) was replaced by the Disposal of Dead Farm Animals regulation under the Nutrient Management Act and the Disposal of Deadstock regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act. “Fires solely for the burning of bodies of dead animals, including poultry, where no other safe and/or practical disposal method exists. This publication has been funded in part by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, Inc. UMass Research and Education Center Farms, Conservation Assessment Prioritization System (CAPS), Extension Risk Management/Crop Insurance Education, North American Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative, Civil Rights and Non-Discrimination Information. Placing a fresh (warm) carcass in a compost pile will help speed the decomposition process versus placing a cold carcass in the pile. The bulking material, such as cornstalks and tree trimmings, needs to provide porosity and structure to a compost pile; therefore, manure is not the ideal choice. Use an incinerator if possible or otherwise use a shallow pit with wood in the bottom and the carcass on top. 2009. However, during mortality composting, piles are left undisturbed during the first stage of composting (phase I) to ensure soft tissue is decomposing properly. Producers must take special precautions with the disposal of diseased animals because states may have stricter and different mortality handling and disposal requirements pertaining to certain infectious diseases. 45: 6.19 - 6.25. Berg, M., Brummund, P., Harstad, A., and Nester, P. 2015. Keener, H.M., Elwell, D.L., and Monnin, M.J. 2000. Small and medium-sized carcasses can be placed in layers in windrows, but large carcasses (for example, cattle, horses) need to be placed in a single layer (Figure 3). Materials are turned using a bucket loader. Carcasses are layered in the bin with a suitable carbon source between each layer. (Photos courtesy of Ying Chen, University of Manitoba, Canada). Maintain a stockpile of the material for covering. A dry and absorbent base material (for example, hay or straw, finished compost, sawdust) can be used to capture liquid draining from the composting pile (Auvermann, 2006). For example, areas with sandy or gravelly soil and a shallow groundwater table must not be used as burial sites. Figure 3. Refer to the “Burial” section on choosing an appropriate location. This document does not explain requirements that apply to veterinarians or commercial chicken or duck operations. Proper disposal methods/systems are especially important due to the potential for disease transfer to humans and other animals, and the pollution of soil, air and ground water. This makes rendering animal carcasses harder and more expensive. The Burn Easy Incinerator has a patented, thermostatically controlled system that shuts the burner down when the chamber reaches the desired level. (NDSU photo). Carcasses are ground up before chemicals or steam is introduced. Bones, which degrade very little, can be pulverized to spread on fields, creating good fertilizer. Also, it's probably not a great idea to go around reading articles called things like Small-scale turning typically is done by a front-end loader or bucket loader, but large-scale turning is done by a tractor-assisted windrow turner. Soil contamination caused by emergency bio-reduction of catastrophic livestock mortalities. How much does that incinerator cost? 30: 376-386. Ithaca, N.Y.: Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service (NARES). This publication serves as a reference for producers regarding options of carcass disposal. This means you save up to 65% on fuel consumption, a savings of more than a gallon of fuel per hour. Check with your state’s environmental agency or state veterinarian before you begin composting dead animals. Owners and operators of animal feeding operations (AFOs) have several options for disposing of mortalities, including rendering, incineration, burial and composting. NDSU Extension Service publication AS1781. They need to think about mortality management before a death occurs to avoid having problems after the fact. To eliminate odors, you must first remove the dead wildlife. Burial must be no less than 6 feet deep with a minimum of 30 inches of soil cover. Subscribe now! Here are some simple steps on how to safely dispose of a dead animal. Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, ISU. Incinerator for managing poultry carcasses. Stirring the mix and covering the carcass again can accelerate the time. Anchor a tarp over the windrow or mix some very dry sawdust or shavings into the substrate. 1992. On-farm burial might be the quickest way to dispose of nondiseased animal mortalities. Animals and wildlife are good at finding access points into warm houses, basements, attics, and even cars, and this can create problems if the animal is sick, ill, or can't escape. 237.101) Backyard burning has been a common trash disposal method in parts of Illinois for years. Burial must be at least 100 feet from a private well, 200 feet from a public well, 50 feet from an adjacent property line, 500 feet from a residence and more than 100 feet from a stream, lake or pond. At least three bins usually are in operation at any time. Overall, a major advantage of composting is that the final product can be used as a nutrient source on fields, but proper management is needed. The rendering market has changed in recent years because the price of meat and bone meal has decreased and the use of many rendered byproducts has been eliminated due to concerns related to transmissible bovine spongiform encephalopathies (BSE or mad cow disease). Handling Dead Animals. 16: 681-692. Hide comments. Deep burial pits should be constructed following the guidelines provided earlier in this document. Journal of Environmental Quality. This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure:  finishing the pile with adequate straw surrounding the carcass. If at all possible, don't touch a dead animal or at least wear gloves. Alternatives include natural disposal, burying, landfills, incineration, and composting. Since 2005, cattle infection with the BSE disease has had a highly negative impact on the industry. The choice of disposal options depends on location, availability of raw materials or equipment and services, affordability and limitations on properly protecting the environment. Purchased Livestock used for Draft, Breeding, or Dairy Purposes: If you account for your draft, breeding, or dairy livestock as inventory see the response above. Fonstad, T.A., Meier, D.E., Ingram, L.J., and Leonard, J. In addition, rendering might not be an option for some producers, depending on location, type and volume of mortalities. Also, higher capital investment is required. In case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a remote temperature monitoring is preferable (Flory et al., 2009). You wouldn't want to infect any innocent animals. Composting has been shown has a viable means of disposing of dead livestock, horses and birds. This site is maintained by Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment in the College of Natural Sciences. But the challenges of disposal by burial may include identifying suitable on-farm burial sites due to the risk of groundwater contamination. How Can You Eliminate the Odor of a Dead Animal? IA. Priming materials used to facilitate such burning shall be limited to #1 or #2 grade fuel oils, vegetation grown on the property of the burn site, and wood waste, as defined in the rule.” Incineration. Suitable carbon sources vary, but may include straw, waste feed/hay, sawdust, poultry litter or finished compost. Left untouched, an adult carcass will compost in five to six months. Burial must be in well drained soils and be at least 2 feet above the highest groundwater elevation. Step One. Rendering is the process of converting animal carcasses to pathogen-free, useful byproducts such a feed protein. When disposing of its carcass location, type and volume of mortalities and Center. Incineration, and Ergun, O.N cold exposure, McAllister, T., Larney, F.J., and Heflin K.... 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