Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 269
Disposal of Dead Animals
Section 269.020

August 28, 2013


Disposal of dead animals, manner--on-site burials permitted, when--removal of hide authorized--composting, incineration--state veterinarian may enter premises in emergency situations or when nuisance exists, costs--court order requiring disposal--limitation on veto power of decisions.

269.020. 1. Every person owning or caring for any animal that has died from any cause shall dispose of the animal carcass within twenty-four hours after knowledge of such death, either by arranging for a person permitted under this chapter to dispose of or transport it, or by the owner or person entitled to such body causing the same to be deposited in a permitted sanitary landfill notwithstanding any other provision of the law or rule to the contrary, allowing it to be buried in a sanitary landfill or buried, incinerated, composted, or disposed of in a manner approved by the state veterinarian within the twenty-four-hour period upon his own or any other available premises, provided that such disposition is in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section.

2. On-site burial of dead animals shall be in accordance with the following loading limitations, geographic restrictions and other conditions as specified:

(1) For areas defined by the department of natural resources, division of geology and land survey, as having major groundwater contamination potential, the maximum loading rate shall be limited to:

(a) One bovine, six swine, seven sheep, and beginning July 1, 1995, seventy turkey carcasses or three hundred poultry carcasses on any given acre per year; or

(b) All other species and immature cattle, swine, and sheep, and beginning July 1, 1995, turkeys or poultry shall be limited to one thousand pounds of animals on any given acre per year;

(2) A maximum loading for areas excluded from subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be limited to:

(a) Seven cattle, forty-four swine, forty-seven sheep, and beginning July 1, 1995, four hundred turkey carcasses, or two thousand poultry carcasses on any given acre per year; or

(b) All other species and immature cattle, swine, sheep, and beginning July 1, 1995, turkeys or poultry shall be limited to seven thousand pounds of animals on any given acre per year;

(3) The maximum amount of land that shall be used for on-site burial of animals on any person's property during a given year shall be limited to ten percent of the total land owned by that person or one acre, whichever is greater; and

(4) Burial sites shall not be located in low-lying areas subject to flooding; and

(5) The lowest elevation of the burial pits shall be six feet or less below the surface of the ground; and

(6) The dead animals shall be immediately covered with a minimum of six inches of soil and a final cover of a minimum of thirty inches of soil; and

(7) Carcasses shall not be placed on the ground, in a ditch, at the base of a hill, or in a cavern and covered with soil; and

(8) The abdominal cavity of carcasses over one hundred fifty pounds shall be punctured to allow escape of putrefactive gasses; and

(9) The location of dead animal burial sites must be in accordance with the following separation distances:

(a) At least three hundred feet from any wells, surface water intake structures, public water supply lakes, springs or sinkholes; and

(b) At least fifty feet from adjacent property line; and

(c) At least three hundred feet from any existing neighboring residence; and

(d) More than one hundred feet from any body of surface water such as a stream, lake, pond, or intermittent stream.

3. Any person so owning or controlling any dead animal, that has not died of a contagious disease, shall have the right to remove the hide or skin thereof, at the site of the animal's death, before disposing of such body as prescribed in this chapter, but such skinning must be done and the disposition of such hide, or skin and body must be made in a manner that will avoid the creation of any nuisance.

4. No body of any animal shall be buried, burned, cooked, or otherwise disposed of, except as provided for in this section.

5. Composting of dead animals shall be done in a dead animal composter designed and constructed in an efficient design as recommended by the University of Missouri extension service.

6. Noncommercial incineration of dead animals shall be done in an incinerator designed, constructed and operated in an efficient manner as recommended by the University of Missouri extension service.

7. Commercial incineration of dead animals shall be done in an incinerator designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the provisions of chapter 643 and any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.

8. Disposal of dead animals is allowable in a sanitary landfill that has a current permit under the provisions of chapter 260 and any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.

9. In emergency situations involving a risk to the health and welfare of any species of animal or man caused by the death of an animal, the state veterinarian may enter any premises, take possession of any dead animal, and dispose of such animal by any method authorized by this chapter, but only if the person who owned, cared for, or most recently possessed the animal is unable or unwilling to properly dispose of the animal. The owner, custodian, or person who most recently possessed the animal shall reimburse the state veterinarian for the reasonable expense of disposing of the animal pursuant to this section.

10. If an animal's death causes a nuisance, the state veterinarian may enter any premises, take possession of any dead animal and dispose of such animal by any method authorized by this chapter but only if the person who owned, cared for, or who most recently possessed the animal has not been located within twenty-four hours after a reasonable effort, the person is absent from the state and refuses to cooperate, or the person is unable to properly dispose of the animal due to that person's physical or mental condition. The owner, custodian, or person who most recently possessed the animal shall reimburse the state veterinarian for the reasonable expense of disposing of the animal pursuant to this section.

11. In emergency situations involving a risk to the health and welfare of any species of animal or man, or where the death of an animal has caused a nuisance, the state veterinarian may apply, in the county where the dead animal was found, for a court order requiring the person who owned, cared for, or most recently possessed the dead animal, to dispose of it.

12. The department of agriculture and the department of natural resources shall not have veto power on the decisions of the University of Missouri extension services or any decisions made under this section.

(L. 1941 p. 290 14493n, A.L. 1992 H.B. 878, A.L. 1993 H.B. 399)


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