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Mortality Composting
Materials address composting as a method to manage livestock mortalities (including mass mortalities resulting from avian influenza), butcher wastes and road killed animals. Also developed is a searchable map of US Mortality and Butcher Waste Disposal Laws.


Horse Mortality: Carcass Disposal

Natural Rendering: Composting Livestock Mortality & Butcher Waste

  • 12p illustrated fact sheet describing the process, cautions, problems, biosecurity issues, economics and more. 2002, updated 2010.
  • 20-minute video describes mortality and butcher residual composting featuring eight operations. Download in English or Spansh. 2002.
  • A set of 3 posters (English and Spanish) has been developed for educators:
  • A How-To On Livestock Composting.  Article published in Northeast DairyBusiness, 10(11):18-19. 2008.
  • Are Your Deadstock Piles and Disposal Costs Causing Your Farm Nightmares? Article published in Country Folks. Section B: 21-23. 2009.
  • Natural Rendering: A Natural Solution for Mortality and Butcher Waste. Article published in Small Farm Quarterly. Fall 2003.
  • On-Site Composting of Meat By-Products. 15p final report of a project exploring the economic viability and technical obstacles to on-site composting of meat by-products. 2001.
  • The Space It Takes - Footprint Calculator for Composting Butcher Waste. 8pg document. 2010.
  • Where There is LIvestock, There is Occasionally Deadstock. Article published in Progressive Dairyman, 15:18-19. 2015. (PDF file).

Composting Road Kill

  • 12p illustrated fact sheet (PDF) on the "how to" of composting road kill deer, 2007.
  • 8-minute DVD accompanies the 12p fact sheet (download), 2007.
  • Illustrated poster (PDF), 2007.
  • Effectiveness of Composting Road-Killed Deer in New York State. Article published in Compost Science & Utilization 18(4):232-241, 2011.
  • Evaluating Pathogen Destruction in Road Kill Composting. Article published in BioCycle, 47(11):49-51, 2006.
  • Composting Road Killed Deer in New York. Article published in BioCycle 45(5):25-26, 2004.
  • Revalence and Persistence of Pathogens in Mortality Composting - a Literature Review.
  • Environmental Effects of Mortality Disposal. Proceedings from the 3rd International Symposium: Management of Animal Carcasses, Tissue and Related Byproducts. 2009
  • Links to project reports and photos.

Avian Influenza and Poultry Composting

  • 12p illustrated fact sheet (PDF) for poultry composting and addresses the emergency response to disease control, 2008 (revised 2016).
  • 6-minute video "Composting Poultry Mortality" complements the fact sheet (download), 2008.
  • Illustrated poster (PDF or Powerpoint), 2008.
  • A literature review (PDF) of avian influenza and methods of disposal of affected poultry, 2008.
  • Emergency Response Planning for Disposal of Avian Influenza Affected Birds in NYS. Proceedings from the 3rd International Symposium: Management of Animal Carcasses, Tissue and Related Byproducts. 2009.
  • Mortality Management Options During an Avian Influenza Outbreak. This 70-min. webcast provides a curent update of the outbreak and highlights mortality management options. View here. October 2015.

Other Mortality Composting Resources

  • Webinars.  Current and archived webinars available for viewing. Click here.
  • Livestock Mortality Composting For Large and Small Operations in the Semi-Arid West, EB0205. 28pg manual. English or Spanish. 2012.
  • Composting Mortality - How To poster. 2010
  • US Mortality and Butcher Waste Disposal Laws. A searchable map of rules, regulations and guidance of US disposal laws. 2009. (updated 2012)
  • Managing Mortalities for Beef and Dairy Producers - webcast: A recent FDA rule is likely to impact the cost and/or availability of rendering services for cattle producers. What is this rule and how will it impact service? Are there other environmentally-responsible methods of carcass disposal? This presentation was originally broadcast on June 19, 2009.
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