Livestock mortality disposal NY: Looking for solutions

Managing animal tissue is a significant challenge & responsibility in livestock production

Many of you are aware that some rendering companies that have been picking up dead stock from farms have halted pick?ups. The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) is discussing the situation with the companies to determine a course of action regarding the disposal of downed and dead animals.


Managing animal tissue is a significant challenge and responsibility in livestock production. Routine and emergency losses of livestock are significant environmental, biosecurity, and waste management concerns. Livestock mortality due to barn fires, roof collapses, excess heat/drought, ventilation system failures, and floods impacts many livestock operations. Many animals also need to be chemically euthanized due to illness and injury and to avoid suffering. Rendering has been an option for much of this mortality. Due to recent changes, chemically euthanized animals will no longer be accepted in rendering and there are limited alternatives for deadstock in general. NYS landfills reluctantly accept deadstock even in emergencies. Dragging animals out back is not legal and poses a great threat to avian and terrestrial wildlife and pets that might consume the meat. This leaves few disposal options for horse owners, dairies and other livestock operations.


We are convening two roundtables meetings to discuss all disposal possibilities. Please join Cornell Waste Management Institute (CWMI), Cornell Cooperative Extension, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for a roundtable to discuss composting and burial rules and guidance, as well as problems and solutions that will encourage new and existing facilities to compost mortalities, explore incineration, digestion and any other disposal ideas that protect human, livestock and environmental health.

  • September 21, 2018 9 am – 12 pm. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onieda County 121 Second Street, Oriskany, NY 13424.
  • September 28, 2018 9 am – 12 pm. Wyoming County Ag and Business Center, 36 Center Street, Suite B, Warsaw, NY 14569. The meeting will be held in Learning Center Room #1.