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 Utah

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Animal Industry

Address: 350 N Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500

Rules and Regulations: Utah Code and Constitution, Title 04 - Chapter 26 - Dead Animals. It is the duty of the owner to bury or otherwise dispose of dead animals within 2 days. Deposit on another's land is prohibited without the latter's consent.

Rules and Regulations: Utah Code and Constitution, Title 04 - Chapter 31 - Livestock Inspection and Quarantine. A person who owns or has possession of a swine which dies from hog cholera or another contagious, infectious, or communicable disease shall dispose of the carcass by burying or burning it within 24 hours after death.

More Information

AG-507, Cow Mortality Disposal (Utah State University Extension, 1999). Regardless of method, disposal should be timely (within 24-48 hours) and should preclude access to the carcass by wild animals and birds. Gives setbacks and distances to protect public health. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: If available.

  • Burial: Burial in trench may be prohibited in some localities, so should check with local county authorities first.

  • Burning: Incineration works well with carcasses up to about 40 pounds.

  • Composting: Cost effective, environmentally sound, biosecure and easy to accomplish. Local regulations may limit the size of animal that may be composted so should check with them first.

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 Utah.

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