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 New Mexico

New Mexico Environment Department

Address: 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Solid Waste Management Rules A (3). States that landfill owners shall minimize exposure of landfill employees and the public to animal carcasses and offal, and immediately cover such wastes when they are received

Rules and Regulations: New Mexico 20.9.3: Environmental Protection, Solid Waste, Solid Waste Facility Permits and Registrations. Requires any person operating or proposing to operate a composting facility that accepts greater than 25 tons per day annual average compostable material or greater than five tons per day annual average of material that would otherwise become special waste (e.g., sludge, offal), shall submit a permit request and plans outlined in the administrative code. Much of the language is intended for those that intend to accept mortality or offal from outside sources. An individual that generates less than five tons per day of what would be considered special waste (i.e., offal, mortality, etc) would not be subject to regulation but should follow best management procedures and be especially mindful of nuisance ordinances and any county regulations.

More Information

Guide D-108: Whole Animal Composting of Dairy Cattle (New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agriculture and Home Economics at New Mexico State University, 2002). Describes how to compost dairy cattle but says before implementing whole animal composting on your dairy, check local and state requirements regulating animal carcass disposal.

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 New Mexico.

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