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 Virginia

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Address: 102 Governor St., Richmond, VA 23219

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: 2 VAC 5-200-10 through 2 VAC 5-200-60: Pertaining to the Disposal of Entire Flocks of Dead Poultry. Disposal pits, incinerators, landfilling or rendering required of persons raising or keeping poultry for profit or the State Veterinarian may authorize disposal by another method.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Solid Waste

Address: 629 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23218

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations: Solid Waste Disposal Facility Standards - 9VAC20-80. Sanitary landfills may receive animal carcasses subject to specific limitations in the permit. Occasional animal carcasses may be disposed of within a sanitary landfill. Large number (over 20 cy) of animal carcasses may be received with prior notification of the department and shall be placed in a separate area within the disposal unit and provided with a cover of compacted soil or other suitable material.

More Information

In-House Composting of Turkey Mortalities as a Rapid Response to Catastrophic Losses (2006). Information on composting for catastrophic losses.

Composting for Mortality Disposal on Hog Farms (2003). Information on composting hog mortalities

Guidelines for In-House Composting Poultry Mortality as a Rapid Response to Avian Influenza (2006). Information on composting for AI outbreak.

Static Pile Composting of Wild Birds, Game Birds and Backyard Poultry to Prevent the Spread of Avian Influenza (H5N1) (2006). Information on static pile composting for wild birds, game birds and backyard poultry to prevent the spread of disease.

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 Virginia.

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