Composting: an Alternative Method of Deadstock Disposal

Manitoba Conservation regulates the disposal of deadstock under the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation.  Under this regulation:

15(1)  No person shall keep mortalities in or at an agricultural operation unless the mortalities are kept

(a) in a secure storage room, covered container or secure location; and
(b) continually frozen or refrigerated, if not disposed of within 48 hours after death.

The approved mortality disposal options in Manitoba are:

  • Burial
  • Incineration
  • Composting
  • Rendering

Unfortunately, burial is not suitable for light, sandy soils and is impractical in the winter. As well, large operations (300 or more animal units) are not permitted to bury deadstock on the operation property without written approval from the director. Incineration can be quite expensive, particularly for larger carcasses, and the incinerator must be licensed and operated in accordance with the Incinerators Regulation. Finally, due to the BSE crisis, renderers will no longer handle ruminant (cattle, sheep, goat) material. This leaves on-farm composting as the only viable alternative in many situations.

These web pages provide an overview of on-farm composting of mortalities. It includes interactive screens to assist in planning your composting site. 

Diseased animals should be reported to your local veterinarian and disposed of accordingly!