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 Montana

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Address: 1520 E. Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Montana Code Annotated 75-10-213 and 75-10-214. Dead animals must be burned or buried at least 2 feet underground, or be placed in a licensed animal composting facility. There is, however, an exclusion that states that a person cannot be prohibited from disposing of waste generated in reasonable association with the person's agricultural operation upon land owned or leased, as long as no public nuisance or health hazard is created. For permitted animal feeding operations (CAFOs with an MPDES permit) mortality management practices defined and approved through that process would be authorized. Disposal options addressed, include:

  • Burial: At least 2 feet underground, and

  • Composting: In permitted facility or on own land according to the exemption.

Rules and Regulations: MAC Title 75, Chapter 10, Part 2. The MT-DEQ Solid Waste Division issues permits for composting operations in the state. On-site mortality composting with the producer's animals may be done without a permit under the conditions described above in State Regulations for Montana. If a producer will be composting mortalities as part of a larger compost operation, especially importing additional materials and exporting a finished product, a permit will likely be required. Contact the MT-DEQ - Solid Waste Division at 406-444-5300 for more information.

Montana Department of Livestock
Address: 301 N. Roberts, Room 101, Helena, MT 59620
Rule 32.6.1102: The Handling of Dead Animals or Fowl

More Information

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 Montana.

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