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 Oregon

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Address: 635 Capitol St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-2532

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Disposal of Animal Mortality and Byproducts. Lists carcass disposal options. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: Rendering may no longer be an economically viable option for Oregon's livestock owners

  • Landfilling: A list of landfills and phone numbers to call to find out if the landfill will accept carcasses available from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at

  • Burial: Legal if follow certain requirements, but not acceptable for butcher waste or catastrophic mortality. May also be subject to more regulations if bring animals from other locations to be buried on your farm.

  • Burning: Must be in a DEQ approved incinerator or cremation unit. More incinerator regulations can be found at Open burning is not allowed.

  • Composting: Must have a composting plan on file with Oregon Department of Agriculture.

  • Other Methods: Natural disposal is legal, but the dead animal must be deposited in a location that is at least 1/2 mile from any dwelling and at least 1/4 mile from any open waterway (Chapter 601, Dead Animals: 601.140).

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Solid Waste

Address: 811 SW 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390

Rules and Regulations: Land Quality: Solid Waste: Composting. Includes information on composting Type 3 Feedstocks, which include dead animals.

More Information

Large Animal Mortality Safe and Legal Disposal of Animal Carcasses (Oregon Department of Agriculture, 2008). Useful brochure describing what you can do, what you need to know, how to file a complaint and listing online and other resources

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 Oregon.

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