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 Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Address: 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-4947

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: General Powers and Miscellaneous Animal Health Statutes: Chapter 54, Sections 743 - 745 . Discusses duty to dispose of carcasses of diseased animals, manner of disposition of dead animals and registration of disposal facilities for dead animals. Disposal Options Addressed, include

  • Burial: Within 36 hours and at least 4 ft below the surface of the ground
  • Burning: Completely burn on the premises where the animal died
  • Composting: Livestock carcasses up to 600 lbs may be composted following the procedures set forth in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 210, number 8. Regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

Rules and Regulations: Nebraska Administrative Code, Title 23, Chapter 17:Livestock Composting Regulations . Describes proper composting including what can be composted, where they may be composted and information on design and construction as well as operations.

More Information

Publication G01-1421-A: Disposal Methods of Livestock Mortality (Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001). This NebGuide discusses approved disposal methods for dead animals and provides guidelines for selecting a method. It is not available electronically. It is available from Christopher Henry.

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 Nebraska.

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