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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 available is a table and a searchable excel file of US Mortality and Butcher Waste Disposal Laws.

New Solid Waste Rules for New York State can be found here February 2024. 


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; pdf and ppt formats. 2002.:
    • Butcher Waste Composting - Key Points of Static Pile Butcher Residual Composting.
    • Carcass Composting - Key Points of Static Pile Carcass Composting.
    • Risk - Potential Environmental and Biosecurity Risk of Dead Animal Disposal.
  • 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.
  • Mortality Composting Presentation Presentation given at "Livestock Mortality Disposal: Looking for Solutions" Roundtables in NYS, fall 2018.
  • 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 - Pathogen Analysis of NYS Department of Transportation Road-killed Deer Carcass Compost Facilities.
  • What To Do With A Dead Deer: Compost It. Article published in the Cornell Chronicle. 2012.

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 Composting Protocol for Avian Influenza Infected Flocks - FY2016 HPAI Response. 31p procedure manual. Manual can also be access here. 2016.
  • 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.  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)
  • Sustainable Waste Management in Mongolia, Dornod. A Fulbright Program Specialists Report. Jean Bonhotal was invited to Mongolia to work with officials there in order to mine resources from Dornod aimags waste stream and add value to those products. The following is a summary of the work she did there. August 2019.
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