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 North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Veterinary Division

Address: 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Chapter 106: Article 34, Animal Disease: 106-403: Disposition of dead domesticated animals. It is the duty of the owner to bury dead animals to a depth of at least 3 ft beneath the surface of the ground within 24 hours or otherwise dispose of them in a manner approved by the State Veterinarian. Disposal options addressed:

  • Burial: Within 24 hours and at least 3 feet below the ground,

  • Other Methods: Other methods as approved by the State Veterinarian.

Rules and Regulations: Title 2: Agriculture and Consumer Services, Chapter 52: Veterinary, SubChapter 52C: Control of Livestock Diseases: Section .0100 - Diseased and Dead Animals: 02 NCAC 52C .0102: Disposal of Dead Animals. Methods approved by the State Veterinarian for disposing of dead domesticated animals in addition to burial three feet beneath the surface. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering: At a licensed facility.

  • Burial: Disposal pit as prescribed in G.S. 106-549.70 for dead poultry.

  • Burning: Complete incineration.

  • Other Methods: Other methods as approved by the State Veterinarian.

More Information

Managing Animal Deaths: Your Options (North Carolina State University Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Curriculum, 2005). Describes how to dispose of routine mortality on small farms. Factors that should be considered include the number of dead animals, use or destruction of nutrients contained in the dead animals, farm location, labor available, cost, and availability of alternative options. Gives advantages and disadvantages of each method. Disposal options addressed:

  • Rendering,

  • Landfilling (at sanitary landfills),

  • Burial,

  • Burning (may require permit),

  • Composting,

  • Other Methods (gasification)

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 North Carolina.

Choose another state

VetCA Home