Agriculture

Protocol for Deadstock Disposal* by On-Farm Burial

Reference to Regulation

Disposal of mortalities must be in accordance with Section 15 of the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation under The Environment Act. This regulation provides for proper disposal of livestock carcasses by way of rendering, composting, incineration or burial where environmental conditions are suitable (i.e. does not cause pollution to surface water, groundwater or soil). Mortalities must be stored in a secure manner (so as to both contain all carcass contents and prevent access by scavengers) and must be kept in either a refrigerated or frozen state if retained for more than 48 hours after death.

The Burial Site

The location selected should be away from major traffic areas and out of public view. The selected burial area should be accessible to the disposal delivery vehicle so that the deadstock can be deposited directly into the pit. Areas with a high groundwater level or shallow aquifers shall be avoided. The burial site shall be at least 100 metres from any surface watercourse, sinkhole, spring or well. The site should be situated in clay-type soils to prevent any leachate from escaping into the aquifers. Burial sites must be durable enough to prevent escape of decomposition products that may cause pollution to surface water, groundwater or soil. Surface water runoff from precipitation should be directed away from the burial site.

Burial

The pit should be excavated to a size suitable to handle and manage the expected volume, and only wide enough to allow for dumping of the delivery vehicle without spillover. There should be no physical handling of deadstock by the operator. Prior to burial, a chemical such as lime could be spread over/under the carcass(es) in the pit to help promote degradation and prevent odours. The deadstock in the pit shall be covered with a minimum of one metre of impermeable material. The cover material should be mounded over the pit in order to direct runoff away from the site and to minimize infiltration through the pit.

Maintenance

The burial site should be inspected regularly to ensure scavengers have not excavated the site. As the mounded cover subsides, more impermeable material should be added to maintain the mound.

* This protocol is not appropriate for disposal of mass mortalities. Contact an Environment Officer for information should mass mortalities require disposal.