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 Michigan

Michigan Department of Agriculture

Address: PO Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909

Contact Information:,1607,7-125-3099---C,00.html

Rules and Regulations: Bodies of Dead Animals Act, Public Act 239 of 1982. An act to license and regulate animal food manufacturing plants, transfer stations, dead animal dealers, rendering plants, and certain vehicles; to regulate the disposal of dead animals and to provide for poultry and livestock composting; to prescribe powers and duties of certain state departments; to impose fees; to provide for remedies and to prescribe penalties; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.

More Information

Bodies of Dead Animals Act, Public Act 239 of 1982 (Michigan Department of Agriculture, 1998). This is a brochure that explains the Bodies of Dead Animals Act (see below). It explains the proper disposal methods for the safe and legal disposal of dead animals, that are not intended for human food, in Michigan. Must be disposed of within 24 hours after death by burial, burning composting or rendering

Michigan Dead Animal Management Website. The Michigan Department of Agriculture's rules entitled "Bodies of Dead Animals" for on farm composting were approved with the Great Seal on September 26, 2007.  The rules provide for composting of dead animals and animal tissue within a structure, in open piles, windrows, and contained vessels.  These additional alternatives for disposal of dead animals will assist producers who have no rendering services, licensed landfills that accept dead animals, or soil types for proper burial.

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 Michigan.

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