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 Missouri

Missouri General Assembly

Address: 201 W. Capitol Ave., Jefferson City, MO

Rules and Regulations: Missouri Revised Statutes: Chapter 29: Disposal of Dead Animals, Section 269.020. Every person owning or caring for any animal that has died from any cause shall dispose of the animal carcass within twenty-four hours after knowledge of such death. Accepted methods of disposal include landfilling, burial, incineration, composting or other manner approved by the State Veterinarian. Disposal options addressed:

  • Landfilling: Disposal of dead animals is allowable in a sanitary landfill that has a current permit under the provisions of chapter 260, RSMo.

  • Burial: On-site burial allowed with loading limitations, geographic restrictions and other conditions specified.

  • Burning: Noncommercial incineration of dead animals shall be done in an incinerator designed, constructed and operated in an efficient manner as recommended by the University of Missouri extension service. Commercial incineration should follow the provisions of chapter 643, RSMo.

  • Composting: Composting of dead animals shall be done in a dead animal composter designed and constructed in an efficient design as recommended by the University of Missouri extension service.

More Information

Dead Animal Disposal Laws in Missouri - Bulletin WQ216 (Missouri Extension , University of Missouri, 1994). Description of disposal laws in Missouri from the University of Missouri Extension Services. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: State licensed and approved.

  • Landfilling: Landfills are permitted to accept dead animals under Chapter 260, RSMo.
    Burial: On-site burial following guidelines.

  • Burning: Incineration must be done in an incinerator designed, constructed and operated according to Chapter 643 RSMo and Air Conservation Law and regulation 10 CSR 10-6.160.

  • Composting: In a properly designed and sized dead animal composter (generally for poultry and swine).

Composting Dead Swine - Bulletin WQ351 (Missouri Extension , University of Missouri, 1996). This bulletin discusses composting as a means of complying with the dead animal law for swine operations.

Missouri Dead Animal Disposal Reporting. To report dead livestock not properly disposed of or for further information contact the Division of Animal Health at (573) 751-5608

Dead Animal Disposal Laws in Missouri. An overview of applicable legislation.

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 Missouri.

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