Deceased Animal Disposal Laws:
Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission
Final Rule
Large animal carcasses (excluding dogs and cats) may be disposed of in the following manner unless specified directly by the state veterinarian.
1. Rendering
Large animal carcasses may be submitted to a rendering facility in a sealed vehicle that does not allow drainage while being moved.
2. Burial
Carcasses may be buried at a site at least 100 yards away from a well and in a place where a stream cannot be contaminated.  Anthrax carcasses are to be covered with 1 inch of lime.  Other carcasses may be covered with lime, particularly when needed to control odors.  All carcasses are to be covered with at least 2 feet of dirt.  Carcasses are not to be buried in a landfill, without prior approval of the State Veterinarian.
3. Extrusion
Extrusion is an acceptable method to recover the protein for animal food, when possible.
4. Cooking Carcasses for Swine Food
Carcasses may be cooked for swine food.  The internal temperature of the batch must reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Federal permit required through USDA APHIS, Veterinary Services.
5. Composting
Carcasses or portions of carcasses may be composted in compliance with the following guidelines.
a. General Requirements
1. The composting process must be managed at all times to be practically odorless, prevent fly larvae development, prevent animal depredation and stop leaching of waste material thereby becoming a source of water/soil contamination.
2. The carcass(es) must be reduced to brittle/easily broken bone.
3. A minimal peak temperature of 130 F and a minimal 110 F maintenance temperature must be achieved during the composting process to where the finished product is pathogen free.
b. Composting Exposed to Weather
1. Approved for all large animals (swine, ruminants, horses, etc.).
2. Compost material (carbon source) may be sawdust, hay, etc. but may not contain manure.
3. The carcass(es) must be placed on at least a 24 inch thick pad of compost material that is large enough so that when the carcass(es) is placed there will be at least 24 inches from the carcass(es) to the edge of the pad.
4. A layer of compost material that completely covers the carcass(es) and is at least 24 inches thick must be maintained throughout the composting process.
c. Composting Protected from Weather
1. Approved for all large animals (swine, ruminants, horses, etc.)
2. Compost material (carbon source) may be saw dust, hay, etc. and may contain manure.
3. Composting must be done in a bin(s) that has a concrete floor to provide an all-weather base, roof to exclude excess moisture and rot resistant bin construction to support the compost material and withstand stresses applied by tractor loader.
4. Carcass(es) are to be placed in the compost bin on at least a 12 inch thick base pad of compost material and carcass(es) can not be placed within 8 inches of the sides, front or rear of the compost bin.
5. A layer of compost material that completely covers the carcass(es) must be maintained throughout the composting process.
6. Incineration (burning)
Incineration or open burning may be used as long as carcass is reduced to ash.
7. Carcasses to be buried on special order of state veterinarian
a. Anthrax Animals that die due to this disease shall be buried on site.  Carcass is to be covered with 1 inch of lime after being placed in ground.
8. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission shall have the responsibility of following up complaints on improper large animal carcass disposal.
9. This regulation has no jurisdiction on any animals or parts thereof that are designed as a food item for humans.
10. If carcasses or parts are handled or moved on a road, (gravel or paved) the carcass or product must be in a sealed vehicle or contained where no leakage occurs.  Carcasses are to be covered by tarp or other materials when transported on roads so that wind may not carry disease organisms into surrounding area.
11. Large animal carcasses found on County or Highway property where the identity is unknown shall be disposed of in the best (most practical) manner to prevent a public health problem.



  1. I can see why carcasses need to be buried 100 yards away from a well. Dead tissue breeds dangerous microbes. If it’s too difficult to spend time on a carcass, it may be better for a farm to hire an animal pickup service.


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