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 Maryland

Maryland Department of Agriculture

Address: 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Annotated Code of Maryland, Agriculture Article 3-108. The owner of a slaughtered animal may dispose of the carcass and other parts pursuant to departmental rules and regulations in a manner that does not tend to spread disease or endanger public health.

Rules and Regulations: Annotated Code of Maryland, Agriculture Article 3-109. Animals that die of a contagious or infectious disease must be buried at least 3 ft or burned within 3 hours before sunset of the day following the discovery of the animal.

More Information

Composting Animal Mortalities on the Farm (Maryland Cooperative Extension). Describes mortality composting and composting systems.

Dead Bird Composting Facility (Maryland Cooperative Extension, 2009). Best Management Practices (BMP) for composting dead poultry to eliminate the on-site burial of large numbers of carcasses to reduce the potential for groundwater contamination. From the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program, a part of the Department of Agriculture.

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 Maryland.

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