On this page, you will find information on how to properly dispose of your routine mortalities through various means and how to access the rules and regulations regarding on-farm mortality disposal.
A routine mortality refers to the death of farm animals under normal circumstances and not as a result of a reportable disease. To find out more about reportable diseases, click here.
Options for mortality management
One way to manage routine mortalities on-farm is to compost them. The guide below provides step-by-step instructions on how to properly compost your mortalities.
The following videos provide guidance and best practices for composting routine mortalities.
- Composting Large Animal Mortalities on Farm (Video)
- Composting Small and Medium Hoofstock Mortalities on Farm (Video)
- Composting Routine Mortalities on Commercial Poultry Farms (Video)
- Composting Routine Mortalities from Backyard Poultry Flocks (Video)
- Composting Poultry Mortalities: Backyard Poultry Flocks (Video)
For regulatory information on mortality composting, follow the link below:
It is possible to bury mortalities on-farm. However, burial of routine mortalities is not a preferred method of disposal due to potential environmental concerns. Furthermore in some areas of B.C., and in particular in the South Coast, it is highly unlikely that on-farm sites will be useable due to the water table.
The following factsheet explains how to bury mortalities. While it is specific for the South Coast, the considerations are applicable to all of B.C.
For regulatory information on mortality burial, follow the link below:
Incinerators can provide a reliable means of disposal for poultry operators. For regulatory information regarding the operating an incinerator on the farm, follow the link below.
The rules surrounding landfilling mortalities is region-specific. While it is a good alternative, your local government may not accept mortalities at certain or all of their facilities. For more information, reach out to your regional distict.
Rendering utilizes the waste tissue from animal mortalities and turns it into stable, usable materials that have beneficial uses such as bone meal and tallow. If composting, burial, or incineration, landfilling are not viable options, rendering is a reliable alternative if available in your area.
If composting, burial, incineration, or landfilling are not viable options, rendering is a reliable alternative if available in your area.
The B.C. Government has established protocols to aid in the burial of poultry and livestock in an emergency event as a means of disposing of animals that have perished as a result of a natural disaster, and to control outbreaks of animal diseases. The procedures, prescriptions and allowances described in the Protocols are not intended for the disposal of routine mortalities.
- Protocol #1 On-Farm and Centralized Burial of Infected and Non-Infected Poultry and Livestock (PDF, 4.6 MB) (Updated 2015)
- Protocol # 2 On-Farm, In-Barn Biological Heat Treatment of Materials Potentially Infected with Avian Influenza (PDF, 798 KB) (Updated 2018)
- Protocol # 3 On-Farm, Out-of-Barn Biological Heat Treatment of Material Potentially Infected with Avian Influenza (PDF, 407 KB) (Updated 2022)