Hoosier livestock producers now have two more methods for animal carcass disposal, after members of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) voted to expand the list of state-approved options at their most recent quarterly board meeting. Producers may now dispose of remains through exotic animal feeding and anaerobic/chemical digestion.

The six approved methods of disposal include: burial, incineration, composting, rendering, exotic animal feeding and anaerobic and chemical digestion. The requirement applies only to livestock species, while wildlife and small animal species, such as fish, reptiles, dogs, cats, and small game, are exempt.

“The board added these methods to give livestock owners more options for disposal, because we are seeing more and more issues as the availability of rendering continues to decline,” explains Bret D. Marsh, DVM, state veterinarian. “In the interest of public and animal health, we want to ensure farmers have access to safe, legal disposal methods that are readily available and affordable.”

Standards for three of the four original methods — burial, incineration and rendering—remain unchanged. The composting option was modified to allow communal compost piles for producers under specific circumstances.

Exotic animal feeding was originally banned in 2003, but the disposal method has been reinstated with some additional record-keeping requirements. The number of exotic animal farms has grown in Indiana, and so has the demand for livestock carcasses as foodstuffs for these animals. Livestock producers should verify the exotic animal owner holds a state exotic feeding permit before allowing pick-ups of dead stock.

Anaerobic and chemical digestion is a new, convenient method of disposal similar to composting. Individuals who choose to operate an anaerobic or chemical digester must follow all state environmental laws, and the system must not create a health hazard to humans or animals.

A complete list of the dead animal disposal options and their requirements are available online at www.in.gov/boah/2369.htm.

Denise Derrer
Public Information Director
Indiana State Board of Animal Health
4154 N. Keystone Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46205