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

Equine carcass disposal

Betsy Gilkerson, University of Minnesota

With the temporary ban on horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States (due to the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act), horse owners nation wide are exploring end-of-life and carcass disposal options for horses.

Minnesota horse owners do have some options for disposal of an equine carcass. The State of Minnesota regulates these options and involves the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, and Board of Animal Health.

The legal options for horses in Minnesota are burial, incineration, rendering, fur farm use, and pet food. Each option comes with stipulations. For example, for burial, carcass have to be 5 feet above the high water level, covered with 3 feet of soil and not in soils that are within 10 feet of bedrock. Also, some facilities like rendering companies and fur farms may not take animals that have been euthanized as the solution used can be harmful. Contact your local government or the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for more information.

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