Livestock mortality management

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Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Information and resources for livestock owners about mortality disposal.

Disposal methods

Dead animals must be disposed of in an acceptable manner within 7 days of death. Proper disposal of carcasses is important for:

  • prevention of livestock disease transmission
  • protection of air and water quality
  • preventing scavenger and predator activity

Improper disposal in an unmanaged system can result in large nuisance and risks social repercussions. Mortalities can be composted, burned, buried, rendered or naturally disposed.

Alberta’s Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation outlines the requirements associated with these methods. In particular, sections 7 through 14 outline the specific requirements for disposal of animals under each of these approaches, including:

  • conditions on the total weight of animals being disposed of,
  • prohibitions for certain methods when dealing with diseased animals, or
  • animals that have been euthanized with drugs or other chemical substances.

Anyone who knows or ought to know that any reportable or notifiable livestock diseases are or may be present in an animal must report that fact to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian within 24 hours by calling 1-800-524-0051.

Before deciding which method of disposal will best suit your situation, consider disease containment, pathogen elimination, time limitations, location of disposal, and local/municipal regulations.

For more information, see Livestock Mortality Management (Disposal).

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