Manitoba Manitoba Conservation
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Environment Publications 1998





formerly The Livestock Waste Regulation M.R. 81/94


  • A ban on winter spreading of manure for large scale producers.
  • Enforceable limits on the amount of manure that can be spread on land.
  • Manure Management Plans required for large scale producers.
  • Permit required for all manure storage facilities prior to construction.

The Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation provides legislative standards towards proper management of manure and mortalities, benefitting the producer by:

  • minimizing the potential for contamination of the production area;
  • reintroducing important nutrients to the soil;
  • protecting the environment for the producer and the community.

This revised regulation has been introduced to reflect changes in the livestock industry. The intent of the regulation is: to strengthen protection of the environment, to enhance enforcement capabilities and to ensure that livestock production will be sustainable.

The key areas of the regulation address:

  • safe storage of manure
  • safe application of manure as fertilizer
  • transportation of manure
  • dealing with livestock mortalities
  • innovative practices


It is important that all manure be contained and stored safety to prevent leakage into groundwater or streams, lakes and other surface waters.

All new or modified manure storage facilities now require a permit from Manitoba Environment prior to construction.

Before they can be used, the structures must be certified by an engineer as being constructed according to siting requirements and engineering design standards. This regulation now covers all earthen, concrete and steel storage facilities.

Regulations now require that:

  • new manure storages, confined livestock areas and composting facilities be at least 100 metres from property boundaries, surface water courses, sinkholes, wells and springs;
  • there is no discharge of livestock manure into surface or ground water;
  • manure not be permitted to escape property boundaries either during storage or application.


Spreading of manure on fields by large scale livestock operations is now banned from November 10 until April 15. This will reduce the amount of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that may run off frozen soils during spring melt, polluting nearby lakes and streams. Livestock operations with fewer than 400 Animal Units of any one type of livestock are exempt unless their manure management practices are causing environmental problems. In the event of emergency circumstances (i.e. excessive rain), an operator may apply, prior to application, to Manitoba Environment for an exemption to this ban.

Existing large scale producers have until November 1, 2003 to comply. New large scale producers must comply as they come into production. Manitoba Agriculture representatives can assist livestock producers in determining the number of Animal Units in their operations.

One Animal Unit = number of animals of a particular kind which produce 73 kilograms of nitrogen in 12 months.

400 Animal Units =

=320 sows (farrow to finish)
= 200 dairy cows
= 332 beef cattle
= 40,000 laying hens

Manure Management Plans

The annual preparation and registration of Manure Management Plans by large scale producers ensures that adequate land is available for fertilization with manure and that environmentally sensitive areas can be identified and protected. These plans describe the volume and nitrogen content of the manure produced and the existing nitrogen levels in the soil. They will also indicate how, when and where the manure will be applied.

The deadline for filing first plans is January 1, 1999 for new operations and November 10, 1999 for existing operations.

Manitoba Agriculture staff can assist with the preparation of these plans. Manitoba Environment will review the plans to ensure they are environmentally sound.


Persons transporting livestock manure must ensure manure does not spill from the vehicle on to a public road. If a spill does occur, they must immediately report the spill especially if the location or quantity involved could have a negative effect on the environment.

Any series of preventable, small spillages on roads are also prohibited and must be reported. Minor spills (less than 50 litres of liquid manure or 0.25m3 of solid manure) or spills in locations that do not pose a significant threat or risk to the environment do not need to be reported.


This regulation provides for proper disposal of livestock carcasses by rendering, composting, incineration or burial where environmental conditions are suitable. Mortalities must be stored in a secure manner and must be kept in either a refrigerated or frozen state if retained for more than 48 hours before disposal.


The new Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation recognizes that considerable research and innovation is occurring in the field of livestock production and that technological advancements are occurring at a rapid rate.

For this reason, the requirements of the regulation may be varied where innovative and environmentally sound practices or procedures are proposed. This ensures that livestock producers in Manitoba will continue to be world leaders by being able to adopt new acceptable practices as soon as they become available.


Manitoba Environment has made the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation a top priority for the department. Protocols are being developed to address new obligations in areas such as:

  • the review of engineering design for new manure storage facilities,
  • the inspection of manure storage facilities under construction,
  • and the review and registration of Manure Management Plans.


Protection of the environment and compliance with the regulation are priority goals for the department. These goals will continue to be achieved by:

  • conducting regular inspections of livestock operations,
  • responding to complaints,
  • providing education opportunities via public meetings, Open Houses and similar venues,
  • conducting monitoring programs,
  • assisting research efforts,
  • ensuring that manure storage facilities are properly designed and constructed,
  • and any other actions necessary to fully enforce the requirements of the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation.


Manitoba Environment is committed to strong enforcement of the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. However, enforcement action includes much more than prosecution. Clean-up of problem areas and modification of environmentally unsound practices may be achieved by the issuance of an Environment Officer’s Order or by a Director’s Order.

Formal warnings may be issued along with an Order for minor infractions by a first time offender. Common Offence Notices, a less formal method of prosecution (similar to a traffic ticket), may be issued for more serious infractions while prosecution via formal Laying of Information may be reserved for complex offenses or for repeat offenders.


Why are odours not addressed under this regulation?

Odours are regulated under the Farm Practices Protection Act. Questions and complaints about odours from livestock operations may be directed to the Farm Practices Protection Board at (204) 945-5410.

Is the 400 animal unit calculation cumulative across types of livestock?

Calculating the 400 animal unit number will be category specific and will not be cumulative across types of livestock. This means, for example, that animal units for mixed farms will not be calculated by adding the animal units for hogs to that of poultry and beef cattle. Each will be calculated as separate entities.

Why are phosphorus concentrations in manure not included under this regulation?

Agricultural soils in Manitoba tend to be alkaline (ie. high pH) and therefore tend to tightly bind phosphorus. Hence, the phosphorus content of manure that has been applied at a rate meeting crop nitrogen requirements, poses less of an environmental risk to lakes and streams in Manitoba.

Why are nitrates controlled under this regulation?

Nitrates are very soluble in water and therefore can easily enter and contaminate surface and ground water. Elevated nitrate levels in water used for drinking may pose a health risk to infants.

Why are livestock operations with less than 400 animal units exempt from the ban on winter spreading of manure.

Smaller scale operations tend to be family farms that pose less overall risk to the environment than large, intensive livestock operations. However, livestock operations that are otherwise exempt under this ban will still have to meet minimum setback distance requirements from sensitive areas such as watercourses, wells, sinkholes and springs. Additionally, other sections of the regulations such as limitations on nitrate concentrations in soils and a prohibition on the escape of manure from the property boundaries of land where it is either stored or applied as a fertilizer continue to apply.

Co-Ordination of Environmental Livestock Program

Eastern-Interlake Region
Manitoba Environment
Unit 5, 284 Reimer Avenue
Box 21450
Steinbach MB R0A 2T3
PH: (204) 346-6060
Fax: (204) 326-2472




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