Veterinary Compliance Assistance


Carcass Disposal State Regulations


Depending on circumstances, large animal carcass disposal may be regulated by a state's solid waste, medical waste, agriculture, or emergency management regulations. If your state does not provide specific guidance or regulations relating to large animal carcass disposal, check with your local health department, or city/county laws and ordinances.

In addition, during emergency situations and disasters (e.g., blizzards, floods, hurricanes, mass die-offs, etc.), consult with your local emergency officials, your state emergency planning agency, or the state veterinarian, to determine approved methods of carcass disposal.

Applicable Agencies and Regulations for Florida

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDOACS)

Address: The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Title 46, 823.041: Disposal of bodies of dead animals; penalty. Dead animals shall be burned or buried or rendered. Unlawful to dispose of carcasses by dumping where they can be devoured by beast or bird. Disposal options addressed include:

  • Rendering: allowed, but prohibited for animals that die due to disease.,

  • Burial: buried at least 2 feet below the surface of the ground, and

  • Burning: allowed.

More Information

Options for Dead Bird Disposal (University of Florida IFAS Extension, 2008). Discusses the options for disposal of dead birds on the farm including burial, incineration, composting, rendering and other methods. Disposal options addressed include:

  • rendering,

  • burial,

  • burning,

  • composting, and

  • other methods (dead animals may be preserved by freezing, lactic acid fermentation or acidification before rendering).

Methods of Large Animal Carcass Disposal in Florida. (University of Florida IFAS Extension, 2008). Describes allowable methods of carcass disposal including burial, composting, incineration, and rendering. Disposal options addressed include:

  • rendering,

  • burial (Consult local officials for advice on individual and pit burial. Most Florida counties have soil survey maps that can be used to determine the suitability of a specific site for carcass burial in regard to water table depth and soil porosity.),

  • burning (Regulated by State Environmental Protection.), and

  • composting (Composting is likely one of the best options for disposing of carcasses; however persons who may be considering this option are advised to contact their local officials on regulations regarding the use of composting systems.

The Cornell Waste Management Institute (CWMI) maintains a database of carcass disposal state regulations promulgated by state environmental, agricultural and other agencies. There may be additional information on this site, not found on VetCA, that can be helpful to veterinarians, ranchers and farmers. Click here to access the CWMI information for Florida.

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