All livestock producers encounter mortality. Finding appropriate carcass disposal methods can be challenging. The State of Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry lists five acceptable options for animal carcass disposal:
Finding a rendering service for sheep and goats is difficult. Since July 1, 2006 there has been no rendering facility in Oklahoma that accepts goat carcasses or offal (Dan Parrish, Director, Agric. Env. Mgt. Serv. Div., Oklahoma Dept. of Agric., personal communication). Burial may be expensive if proper equipment must be rented. Further, there are rules on burial that must be followed. Carcasses may not be buried less than 1 foot above flood plains or within 2 feet of the water table or bedrock. Burial cannot take place within 300 feet of water sources, houses, public areas or property lines and carcasses must be covered with a minimum of 2.5 feet of soil. The cost to purchase and operate an incinerator is not economical for most producers. Not all landfills accept carcasses, and those that do charge disposal fees. Composting is an inexpensive, environmentally friendly method of disposing of animal mortality that is commonly used in the poultry and swine industries.
This web page will help goat and sheep producers with the basics of mortality composting.