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Extension > Agriculture > Livestock > Horse > Horse care and management > Equine carcass disposal

Equine carcass disposal

Krishona Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota

Minnesota horse owners have options for disposal of a carcass. The State of Minnesota regulates these options and involves the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and Board of Animal Health (MBAH).

The legal options for disposing of horse carcasses in Minnesota include burial, composting, incineration, and rendering.

Carcasses must be buried 5 feet above the season-high water table and not in soils that are within 10 feet of bedrock. When composting, the carcass must be completely covered by a carbon source (i.e. sawdust) and monitored for temperature, oxygen level and moisture. With incineration, carcasses must be incinerated in a MPCA approved incinerator. Vehicles that haul carcasses for rendering services need to be inspected and permitted by the MBAH.

For more information on carcass disposal in MN, visit the Minnesota Board of Animal Health's website.

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