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 Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture

Address: 235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908-5767

Rules and Regulations: Emergency Response Plan for Disposal of Poultry and Litter from an AI outbreak. By law, the Division of Agriculture in the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has the authority and the responsibility to regulate the sanitary and safe disposal of dead domestic animals, parts and other wastes. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: Rendering will be considered only in cases where the flock is negative on virus isolation testing.

  • Landfilling: With Department of Environmental Management approval on a case-by-case basis.

  • Burial: On-site burial with DEM permission and oversight on a case-by-case basis.

  • Burning: Small numbers of birds may be incinerated at USDA or DAG-designated laboratories or at other appropriate incinerator sites.

  • Composting: In-house composting according to guidelines or outdoor composting on-site according to guidelines in this document.

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 Rhode Island.

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