Guide

Animal by-products and food waste

Disposing of animal carcasses

If you need to dispose of farmed animal carcasses, you should contact the National Fallen Stock Company or your local Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) Divisional Veterinary Office. Find DAERA helpline numbers.

For fallen stock over 48 months old, you should contact an approved transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) sampling site to have your animal collected and disposed of. Further details are explained in the DAERA fallen stock guidance.

Animals usually regarded as farm species include sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, poultry, horses and other equine species.

Burying animal carcasses

You must not bury animal carcasses or parts of carcasses on your land, except during outbreaks of notifiable disease if there is a lack of capacity at rendering plants and incinerators, or if transporting the carcasses would spread disease. You must have permission from your local Divisional Veterinary Office before you bury carcasses.

During disease outbreaks, you can get advice on suitable disposal methods by contacting your local Divisional Veterinary Office. Find DAERA helpline numbers.

Burying pets and wild animals

You are allowed to bury dead pets on your own premises, in an authorised pet cemetery or landfill site.

Wild animals are not covered by animal by-product controls, unless they are thought to be diseased. Wild animals include:

  • wild deer
  • wild boar
  • rabbits
  • foxes
  • rats
  • squirrels
  • moles
  • wild birds

If you have killed a wild animal as vermin or to reduce its population, you need to dispose of the carcass appropriately. This includes animals caught in a trap or snare, and animals that have been shot. Wild animal carcasses are classed as waste, and you have a legal duty of care to handle, store and dispose of them safely, so you don't cause pollution or attract vermin. See duty of care for business waste.

Burning animal carcasses

You must not burn any animal carcasses in the open. You can only burn animal carcasses if you are in a designated remote area, if there is a disease outbreak and there is a lack of capacity at rendering plants and incinerators, or if transporting the carcasses would spread the disease.

If you burn animal carcasses in an incinerator, you may need a pollution prevention and control permit or registered exemption. See permits for burning waste.

Further information can be found in the DAERA fallen stock guidance.