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 Maine

Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources

Address: 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Chapter 211: Rules for the Disposal of Animal Carcasses. Defines acceptable methods for the disposal of all domestic animal carcasses separating them into emergency and routine. They are generally the same except for how they are composted. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: Rendering or processing facilities are fine.

  • Burial: Document gives burial and disposal pit siting requirements including setbacks, separating distances and design requirements.

  • Burning: Gives requirements for incineration.

  • Composting: Routine: University of MD Bin Composting System is recommended. Other methods may be used but only with approval by the Commissioner. A DEP permit may be required. For Emergency Disposal, composting without bins is permitted with a turned windrow being recommended. Discusses requirements for all methods of composting.

More Information

Safe Disposal of Backyard Poultry Mortalities - Fact Sheet 717 (Maine Cooperative Extension, The University of Maine, 2006). Describes proper carcass disposal to minimize risks to the family, remaining flock, and the environment. Rules only allow composting animals from the farm on which the structure is located.

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 Maine.

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