Flood cleanup tip: animal carcass disposal

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Unfortunately, recent flooding may have left behind animal carcasses. These carcasses should be properly disposed of to prevent the spread of disease.

Animal producers affected by the recent floods should assess the impact of the disaster on their animals and their property. View the site, take photographs and make a written self-estimate of damage. Note the number of animals originally on site, the approximate number and size of dead animals, uninjured animals and their needs, animals that remain unaccounted and the condition of confinement buildings and enclosures. This information will be helpful when talking to agencies and relief organizations as well as when creating cleanup plans.

Dead animals should be disposed of within 24 hours or as soon as it is safe to do so. Use the following methods, which are listed in order of most preferable:

* Process at a rendering plant.

* Compost on-site as recommended by University of Missouri Extension.

* Dispose in a sanitary landfill.

* Incinerate in a University of Missouri service-designed agricultural incinerator or a state-permitted commercial incinerator.

* On-site burial following state law's standard loading limitations. Call your local Missouri Department of Natural Resources regional office for information on loading limitations in your area.

Some of these options may not be realistic, so be conscientious but practical.

"We realize the difficulty our agricultural community is facing after recent floods. It is important to take action to dispose of carcasses as soon as you can access them," said Dr. Taylor Woods, state veterinarian with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "Since these animals did not perish from disease, the best method of disposal at this time would be using a rendering company. Other methods of disposal as described by DNR are also acceptable. Check with local DNR officials concerning water tables in your area before burying."

The department has additional resources available to help guide flood cleanup efforts available on its Web site at www.dnr.mo.gov/disas-ter.htm.

For more information, please visit the Department of Agriculture Web site at http://www.mda.mo.gov/Animals/deadanimal.htm#.

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