Odor can be kept to a minimum as long as the pile is turned to aerate it and the covering material has enough carbon sources, such as straw, sawdust or hay, to provide a 25:1 ratio of carbon to nitrogen. This makes rendering animal carcasses harder and more expensive. 50011. In many areas, the numbers of rendering facilities are limited and in many cases are declining due to increased costs and biosecurity risks associated with transporting mortalities (Glanville et al., 2009). Burial must be no less than 6 feet deep with a minimum of 30 inches of soil cover. 16: 681-692. This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure: laying the straw base and measuring the perimeter after laying carcass. Bins arranged for sow and litter composting. Guidelines for in-house composting poultry mortality as a rapid response to avian influenza. (Refer to MDAR 330 CMR 25:00). Open-pit or open-pile burning should be a method of last resort. 2009. This publication serves as a reference for producers regarding options of carcass disposal. 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. This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure: placing liner, Figure 3. 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. Turning the pile mixes the materials and rebuilds the porosity of the windrow. 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). Odor nuisance complaints generated due to a poorly functioning incinerator are common. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires removal of brain and spinal cord specified risk material (SRM) from rendered products intended for animal food. On-Farm Composting Handbook. Livestock Carcasses (revised 3/05) This document is a summary of suggested guide­ lines from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Animal Health Com­ mission (TAHC) for disposal of farm or ranch animals. Owners and operators of animal feeding operations (AFOs) have several options for disposing of mortalities, including rendering, incineration, burial and composting. "Basically, it looks like a pile of mulch," he said. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Consider personnel and property safety and choose a proper location away from the public view. For burning, Akdeniz says mortalities should be incinerated according to EPA guidelines. (NDSU photo). NDSU Extension Service publication AS1781. Subscribe now! 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. Refer to the “Burial” section on choosing an appropriate location. Texas Cooperative Extension Bulletin, The Texas A&M University System, E-422. Rynk, Robert, et.al 1992. Canadian Biosystems Engineering. 36: 1914-1919. Figure 2. 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. Composting has gained popularity in areas where burial and incineration are not practical or have become restricted. Disposal of dead animals on a farm should . 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. Journal of Environmental Quality. Research Institution. NDSU Extension publication V561. 2001. Materials are turned using a bucket loader. Use a compost-style dial thermometer, ideally with a 30-inch long probe, to monitor the temperature. 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. From a biosecurity point of view, burial is a viable option. Site it lengthwise with the slope of the land so runoff and snow can’t puddle against the windrow. 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. Carcasses are ground up before chemicals or steam is introduced. Figure 3. The regulations came into force on Friday, March 27, 2009. 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. 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). 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. … A dead animal may be placed at one end of the trench and covered with soil. 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. 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). The following is a brief discussion of each disposal option. 184(1-4): 177-182. Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, ISU. Typically, compost thermometers (36- or 48-inch stem length) or wireless/wired temperature probes should be inserted at an 45-degree angle to 18 and 36 inches in depth in the compost piles for monitoring pile temperature above and below the carcasses layer. Locate it on a solid spot where the ground slopes 1 to 2%. Step One. Step Four. Journal of Environmental Quality. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, for instance, does not require a permit. A base of sawdust, wheat straw, or other suitable carbon source 12 to 18 inches in depth is required, depending on carcass size. 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. The turning operation mixes the composting materials and enhances passive aeration. Properly composting animal carcasses may be less of a threat to groundwater than burial or unattended surface dumping. The producer is responsible for disposing of these mortalities within 48 hours in an environmentally acceptable manner. Refer to the “Burial” section on choosing an appropriate location. USDA-HPAI 2016. If you decide to bury the animal, the site should not be in an area with a shallow water table or . Bones, which degrade very little, can be pulverized to spread on fields, creating good fertilizer. If you accounted for your purchase as an asset you can record the loss of the cow by indicating the cow was sold. Mammal carcasses are about 50 percent water and 20 percent protein. For bovine mortalities older than 30 months, Clark says options include on-farm burial and composting. Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service. The Missouri Dead Animal Disposal Statute was passed by the 86th General Assembly and … Animal mortality losses are a normal part of livestock and poultry production facilities. Virginia Coperative Extension. Xu, W., Reuter, T., Inglis, G.D., Larney, F.J., Alexander, T.W., Guan, J., Stanford, K., Xu, Y., and McAllister, T.A. Producers may have losses due to disease, accidents, inter-animal competition or natural disasters such as flooding or blizzard. Incinerator for managing poultry carcasses. ©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. 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. Check with your state’s environmental agency or state veterinarian before you begin composting dead animals. 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. Burial cannot be in a wetland, floodplain or shoreline area. Windrows are aerated primarily via natural air movement or passive air movement (Rynk, 1992). Carcass composting typically is done in one of three primary facility types: a bin, a static windrow or a minicomposter (Keener et al., 2000). Prompt burial will prevent nuisance problems such as odors, flies and scavengers. Contacting your local regulatory agency to determine what regulatory requirements may need to be met before adopting any of the following options also is helpful. 102(3): 609-618. Keener, H.M., Elwell, D.L., and Monnin, M.J. 2000. 5 easy steps for composting dead livestock. This site is maintained by Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment in the College of Natural Sciences. Iowa State University – Iowa Extension. If you are by chance near a landfill, you can check with your local facility to see if they would allow you to just throw the body of a dead animal into some backyard pile of landfill materials. 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. Mukhtar, S., Nash, C., Harman, W., and Padia, R. 2008. Step Five. Wilkinson, K.G. Dead animals and other wastes (afterbirth and slaughter wastes) can be a risk to biosecurity and hazardous to the environment. Minicomposters are used for small-carcass (for example, poultry) composting and are not suitable to handle large volumes of animal mortalities. On-farm composting handbook/editor: Robert Rynk [et al.]. Due to placement and handling limitations of large carcasses, composting may not be practical to consider during a massive infectious disease outbreak. However, large distances between rural areas and rendering plants and the lack of a timely pickup service of dead animals from farms are the biggest challenges for using rendering as a mortality disposal method. 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. 198: 285-295. Each of these options is described briefly in the following sections. Boston. 30: 376-386. Figure 3. Also, incinerators must be loaded and operated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Burial is difficult during winter and not an option during flooding or in areas prone to flooding. Both AFO types are confined (kept and fed for 45 days or more per year) in a lot, yard, corral, building or other area. Burning carcasses in a pit on the site is an acceptable method of disposal in North Dakota. Carcasses are layered in the bin with a suitable carbon source between each layer. Figure 1. Procedures and equations for sizing of structures and windrows for composting animal mortalities. 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. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each … Carcass abandonment is not considered an acceptable disposal practice. Manure may be used if enough bedding is incorporated with it. Greenhouse gas emissions during co-composting of calf mortalities with manure. Auvermann, B., Mukhtar, S., and Heflin, K. 2006. Handling dead animals. 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. Use an incinerator if possible or otherwise use a shallow pit with wood in the bottom and the carcass on top. Be sure the carcass is burned as soon as it is discovered and it burns completely. Website: www.mass.gov/agr. When you see no more soft animal parts, you can spread the compost or leave it in place. 5 Burning dead animals. Stirring the mix and covering the carcass again can accelerate the time. Incineration is the thermal destruction of carcasses by auxiliary fuel such as propane, diesel or natural gas. If possible, orient the windrow north to south so that only one end faces a cold exposure. Left untouched, an adult carcass will compost in five to six months. Nonetheless, wintertime composting is still a viable option as opposed to digging into the frozen ground. Ames. Cooperative Extension. IA. Deep burial pits should be constructed following the guidelines provided earlier in this document. Carcasses can be added anytime but should be spaced about 4 feet apart. Once you’ve placed a carcass (might want to puncture the rumen on cattle to avoid a gas buildup and possible explosion), cover it with at least 2 feet of the same manure and bedding mixture that is underneath the carcass. 1992. At least three bins usually are in operation at any time. 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. Make sure no part of a carcass is exposed; otherwise, predators will be attracted to the site. Dr. 1999. There will be less bony residue with younger carcasses.Calves, for instance, may compost in three to four weeks under summer conditions. They need to think about mortality management before a death occurs to avoid having problems after the fact. This is a step-by-step look at the composting pile construction procedure:  breaking up a round straw bale. Complete destruction of pathogens and weed seeds occurs by maintaining thermophilic conditions during the active composting period. Temperatures around the carcass will rise to 150 to 160 degrees. Curriculum. 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). Additional space is for co-composting material storage and handling. For example, areas with sandy or gravelly soil and a shallow groundwater table must not be used as burial sites. Proper composting techniques will destroy most disease-causing bacteria and viruses. If you notice excessive odors, add more cover material to the outside of the pile. Once you’ve placed a carcass (might want to puncture the rumen on cattle to avoid a gas buildup and possible explosion), cover it with at least 2 feet of the same manure and bedding mixture that is underneath the carcass. When another carcass needs to be added, the carcass can be placed in the trench immediately and covered even if the ground is frozen. Construct a windrow 10 feet wide by 4 feet deep of the dry manure and bedding mixture. However, during mortality composting, piles are left undisturbed during the first stage of composting (phase I) to ensure soft tissue is decomposing properly. The vertebral column and spinal cord of cattle 30 months and older are considered to be SRM. The cover material may settle or be disturbed by wind, so be sure to check the pile periodically. Since 2005, cattle infection with the BSE disease has had a highly negative impact on the industry. Or they can be left in the pile. Figure 3. Here are some simple steps on how to safely dispose of a dead animal. Livestock and Poultry Environment Stewardship (LPES) 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). 38: 437-450. In North Dakota, in the case of any infectious or contagious disease, a carcass must be disposed of within 36 hours or transferred to a licensed rendering plant. Stoltenow, C.L., and Hammer, C.J. 2007. 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. For a northern climate, additional insulation might be required to reach the desired temperatures for pathogen destruction and effective degradation (Keener et al., 2000). The unit has a horizontal burn chamber with flames passing over the carcass for complete clean burn. For more information visit the UMass Extension Crops, Dairy, Livestock and Equine Program 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. In a wet rendering process, steam enters the rendering tank, along with the biomass. 2003. Transporting carcasses for offsite disposal Greenhouse gas emissions during cattle feedlot manure composting. Therefore, carcass disposal remains one of the major problems facing livestock and poultry producers. On-farm burial might be the quickest way to dispose of nondiseased animal mortalities. Also, higher capital investment is required. The Burn Easy Incinerator has a patented, thermostatically controlled system that shuts the burner down when the chamber reaches the desired level. Resources from UMass Extension and the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment: ag.umass.edu/coronavirus. Do not use tyres as a fuel to burn the animal, as it will produce a dark and toxic smoke. MA 02114. Modern incinerators reduce carcasses to ash and generally are biosecure. Consider personnel and property safety and choose a proper location away from the public view. How much does that incinerator cost? Both types include manure storage structures, but do not include livestock markets. 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). (NDSU photo). 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. This means you save up to 65% on fuel consumption, a savings of more than a gallon of fuel per hour. 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. The trench should be covered with soil mounded to shed rainwater, and the mound should be inspected periodically for settling or caving. Carcasses can be added anytime but should be spaced about 4 feet apart. 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. 2007. You wouldn't want to infect any innocent animals. Mortality Management.www.lpes.org/Lessons/Lesson51/51_Mortality_Management.html, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources. Find the complete procedure in the NDSU Extension publication “Anthrax”. Digestion of dead animals shall be accomplished in a properly designed and sized dead animal digester approved by the Executive Director. If at all possible, don't touch a dead animal or at least wear gloves. Turan, N.G., Akdemir, A., and Ergun, O.N. Livestock owners may find that digging a long trench in the summer for animal carcass burial during winter is economically advantageous because the excavation of frozen soil may be impossible. Hide comments. Journal of Environmental Quality. When the air temperature is above 50 degrees and the pile is turned when its temperature drops below 120 degrees, the soft tissue in a 1,500-pound cow will finish composting as quickly as two to three months. The choice of disposal options depends on location, availability of raw materials or equipment and services, affordability and limitations on properly protecting the environment. Berg, M., Brummund, P., Harstad, A., and Nester, P. 2015. Evaluation and demonstration of composting as an option for dead animal management in Saskatchewan. Composting is the preferred method of carcass disposal because it can be implemented rapidly on farms at minimum cost. Hao, X., Chang, C., Larney, F.J., and Travis, G.R. Overview of Animal Feeding Operations Iowa has two types of DNR-regulated animal feeding operations (AFOs): confinements and open feedlots. In addition, rendering might not be an option for some producers, depending on location, type and volume of mortalities. Burial is a common method of carcass disposal to manage mortalities, but it poses a groundwater contamination risk if the burial site is not selected and managed properly. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are required to keep the incinerator functioning properly. Also, it's probably not a great idea to go around reading articles called things like Maintain a stockpile of the material for covering. To eliminate odors, you must first remove the dead wildlife. Soil contamination caused by emergency bio-reduction of catastrophic livestock mortalities. Land Grant. If a chicken in your flock dies unexpectedly, it’s important to take caution when disposing of its carcass. For many Oregon livestock owners struggling with the disposal of animal mortality and byproducts, rendering is not a viable option. Open-pit or open-pile burning should be a method of last resort. The biosecurity of on-farm mortality composting. 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. Tie a knot in the top of the bag. Often, during the carcass composting process, liquid may drain from the composting pile; the liquid needs to be contained. 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. Rendering is the process of converting animal carcasses to pathogen-free, useful byproducts such a feed protein. If you do not know why an animal has died you should always think of the diseases which humans can catch from animals like rabies, anthrax and others. It may be necessary to use an accelerant to get the fire up to the very high temperatures required to burn a carcass. Burial must be in well drained soils and be at least 2 feet above the highest groundwater elevation. Love this story? The disposal trench bottom should be compacted and mortalities should be placed in 3- to 4-feet layers in the disposal trench. 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. Roughly, the total carbon = pounds of birds × 1.5. 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. Often, excessive pollutants can build up in burial sites, and leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus into water bodies causes eutrophication (Turan et al., 2007). 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). Colder temperatures slow the compost process. 2007. As livestock operations grew larger and more sophisticated means of animal production, transport, slaughtering and processing were developed, the legislation became outdated.New legislation was developed. Choose an area where tractors can maneuver in all weather. Original legislation for the management of dead animals in Missouri was developed in the 1940s. As an underlying layer, or substrate, use a mixture of hay, manure and bedding with moisture content between 40 to 50 %. (6) Incineration. If you suspect BSE, contact the IDOA or USDA Veterinary Services for sampling prior to disposal. However, for a large carcass (mature beef and dairy cattle, horses or other large animals), the active composting phase may be up to six months (Auvermann, 2006). 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. Step Three. 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. “Fires solely for the burning of bodies of dead animals, including poultry, where no other safe and/or practical disposal method exists. 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). How to Remove Dead Animal Odor. AgriLife Extension Bulletin, Texas A&M University, B-6209. 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.

Archived. 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. Do not touch the animal. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds during Composting of Poultry Litter [electronic resource]. 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). Placing a fresh (warm) carcass in a compost pile will help speed the decomposition process versus placing a cold carcass in the pile. Journal of Applied Microbiology. Burning is not recommended as livestock are attracted to any remaining ash or carcass which can spread the disease and cause multiple stock deaths. A biosecure composting system for disposal of cattle carcasses and manure following infectious disease outbreak. Flory, G.A., Peer, R.W., and Malone, G.W. Monitor temperatures every two to three weeks. 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. Student Focused. Anthrax. 45: 6.19 - 6.25. ... Dead Animal Disposal Act. 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. 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. But the challenges of disposal by burial may include identifying suitable on-farm burial sites due to the risk of groundwater contamination. 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. –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?) Rynk, R.F. This document does not explain requirements that apply to veterinarians or commercial chicken or duck operations. In case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a remote temperature monitoring is preferable (Flory et al., 2009). Fonstad, T.A., Meier, D.E., Ingram, L.J., and Leonard, J. Also, the disposal site should be away from any residence, drinking water well, shallow aquifers or areas that may be flooded. Wildlife, i.e., creatures not under someone's care, as well as dead livestock being transported by the owner to a diagnostic facility are also exempt from this rule. For the Sales Price you would enter 0 (zero). 2009. Composting is a naturally occurring process in which the dead animal is broken down into basic elements (organic matter) by microorganisms, bacteria and fungi. (This method is not recommended for whole herd or flock disposal cases). 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).

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