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 Texas

Texas Department of Agriculture

Address: 1700 N. Congress, Austin, TX 78701


Rules and Regulations: NRCS Standard: Animal Mortality Facility #316. Information on NRCS standards for animal mortality facilities. Disposal options addressed include: burial (disposal and Burial Pits with certain guidelines), composting and other methods (e.g., freezers)

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Address: 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753


Rules and Regulations: RG-419 Disposal of Domestic or Exotic Livestock Carcasses (2005). Animals that die from a communicable disease must be disposed of within 24 hours by burial or burning. Options for disposal of carcasses from normal mortality include on-site burial, composting, or sending the carcass to a municipal landfill, renderer, or commercial waste incinerator.

More Information

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 Texas.

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