Carcase Disposal

It is important that, when animals have been killed on-farm or in other situations outside the slaughterhouse, the carcases should be disposed of properly and promptly. Apart from the obvious environmental, public health and disease implications, this is often also a legal requirement. Therefore, in addition to complying with the necessary firearms legislation and undertaking training to gain the skills required to kill animals humanely, the prospective operator should also have a carcase disposal procedure in place before killing an animal. However, it is recognised that this may not be possible in the case of an emergency. Also remember that if a large animal, a horse for example, is killed in a confined space such as a stable, the carcase must be removed promptly. If left for too long it will go into rigor mortis and will be difficult to remove.

Legislation regarding carcase disposal varies between countries. Operators should take care to ensure that they comply with relevant local and national laws.

Depending on the circumstances, the options for carcase disposal may include:

  • Transport to an abattoir, making sure to comply with any relevant food hygiene legislation
  • Collection by or delivery to a knackerman for disposal
  • Collection by or delivery to a licensed incinerator

Other options available for carcase disposal on-farm include burial and incineration. Both options may be subject to national legislation, check with your local authority before proceeding to dispose of any carcases on-farm using these methods.

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