How to dispose of cattle mortalities: new video

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Retrieved: May 25, 2022, 11:36 pm

How best to dispose of dead cattle is an important question. Some methods are better than others at controlling the spread of disease and preventing contamination of air or ground water.  After the advent of BSE in Canada, disposal through traditional channels such as rendering has become more expensive, and in some cases less available.

This episode of the Beef Research School features Dr. Kim Stanford, a researcher with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. The pros and cons of various alternatives for disposal of cattle mortalities are explained to help you decide which method might work best on your operation.  Dr. Stanford also explains how to start composting dead cattle any time of year.

Because regulations differ across provinces, check local regulations before adopting a particular method.

See the video here:

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes of the Beef Research School, which will soon discuss the beef care code and genetic selection to improve carcass quality. Past episodes covered rangeland health assessment, mineral supplementation, and vaccination programs. For more information on the Beef Research School, visit

Learn more

Livestock Mortality Management (Disposal)
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Enhanced Animal Health Protection from BSE: Requirements for Disposing of Cattle Material
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Handling Deadstock Report
Alberta Beef Producers


Across Canada

In Alberta and Saskatchewan
West Coast Reductions

In Ontario
Licensed dead stock operators/removal


Livestock Mortality Burial Techniques
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development


Carcass disposal: A comprehensive Review. Chapter 2: Incineration.
National Agricultural Biosecurity Center Consortium


Composting Animal Mortalities: A Producer’s Guide
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

On-Farm Composting of Large Animal Mortalities
Washington State University Extension

Video: Biocontained carcass composting for control of infectious disease outbreak in livestock.
Reuter, T., Xu, W., Alexander, T.W., Gilroyed, B.H., Inglis, G.D., Larney, F.J., Stanford, K. and McAllister, T.A. J.


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