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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 40-13-5 DEAD ANIMAL DISPOSAL

Rule 40-13-5-.01 Definitions

(1) Dead animals means the carcasses, parts of carcasses, fetuses, embryos, effluent, or blood of the following:
(a) Livestock, including, without limitations, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, ratites, equine, and alternative livestock.
(b) Animals associated with animal shelters, pet dealers, kennels, stables, and bird dealers licensed by the Department.
(c) Animals processed by commercial facilities which process animals for human consumption, and
(d) Animals associated with wildlife exhibitions.

Rule 40-13-5-.02 Disposition of Dead Animals

(1) No person shall abandon on any property any animals which have died or have been killed.
(2) No person shall dispose of any dead animals on another person's property without having the land owner's permission.
(3) No person shall dispose of any dead animal in a city, county, or duly licensed landfill without permission of the landfill manager.
(4) Under no conditions shall dead animals be abandoned in wells, open pits, or surface waters of any kind either on private or public land.

Rule 40-13-5-.03 Facilities Requiring Written Approval or Certificate by the Department

(1) Livestock sales markets, livestock slaughter establishments, concentrated animal feeding operations, and Georgia Department of Agriculture licensed animal shelters, kennels, pet dealers, stables, and bird dealers shall have a written and approved method and place for disposal of dead animals and all accessory waste material involved in handling dead animals which die on or within the premises of each licensed establishment. A Certificate of Compliance may be issued from the Department.
(2) Poultry growers, poultry dealers or brokers, and poultry sales establishments may be issued a Certificate of Compliance from the Department when the methods and places of dead animal disposal are approved.
(3) Any person found to be in violation of dead animal disposal rules may be required to have written approval from the State Veterinarian for future dead animal disposal.
(4) The Commissioner shall approve the methods and places for disposal of dead animals.

Rule 40-13-5-.04 Methods of Disposal of Dead Animals

Methods which may be used for the disposal of dead animals are burning to ash, incineration, burial, rendering, or any method using appropriate disposal technology which has been approved by the Commissioner, provided disposal of dead animals is carried out within 24 hours after death or discovery of the dead animal.

(1) Burial. Dead animals that are buried must be located more than 100 horizontal feet away from any existing or proposed wells and water supply lines, 15 horizontal feet away from the edge of any embankment, and 100 horizontal feet away from the seasonal high water level of any pond, lake, tributary, stream, or other body of water including wetlands. Burial sites must be in soil with moderate or slow permeability and must be at least one foot above the seasonal high groundwater elevation. Burial sites must not be located in areas with gullies, ravines, dry stream beds, natural and/or man made drainage ways, sink holes, and/or similar conditions, including the 100-year flood plain as determined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
(a) Dead animals that are buried must be at least three feet below the ground level but no more than eight feet and have not less than three feet of earth over the carcass.
(b) Dead animals may be disposed in pits which are designed, constructed, maintained and used in a manner to prevent the spread of diseases. Pits must also meet the following requirements:
1. Georgia Department of Agriculture personnel must approve the site prior to pit construction. Soils must be evaluated for suitability prior to pit construction by a certified Georgia Department of Agriculture employee or a certified soil classifier.
2. The bottom of the pit must be a soil with moderate or slow permeability or other material approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture that prevents leaching.
3. Pits must have adequate support along the sides to prevent cave-ins and must not exceed four feet in width. For top-soils having 18 inches or more of sand, pit walls must be adequately supported and maintained by concrete, treated lumber, corrosive-resistant metal or other material approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
4. Pits must not be located where the ground slope exceeds a moderate grade.
5. The pit cover must be of solid construction and must allow surface water to drain away from the pit and water supplies. The pit must be sealed to prevent the entry of rodents, insects, and the exit of odors.
6. Pits will be considered closed when covered with more than three feet of loamy or clayey textured soil with a slight dome (at least six inches higher in the middle than at the edge).
7. Any pit that deviates from the above criteria must have the approval of the State Veterinarian prior to the issuance of a permit and use.
(2) Landfill. Dead animals may be disposed in landfills approved to dispose of animal carcasses by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division. Dead animals must be covered by three feet of dirt at the landfill on the same day as delivery.
(3) Composting. Composters and their use must be consistent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service technical guidance standards. Temperatures must be monitored using a compost thermometer at least every other day, with daily checks being preferred. Composters must reach a temperature between 130 and 160 degrees F in order to properly decompose carcasses and neutralize pathogens.
(4) Incineration. Incinerators and their use must meet all requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division. The entire carcass must be reduced to ashes.
(5) Burning. Burning dead animals must comply with federal, state, and local requirements. The entire carcass must be reduced to ashes.
(6) Rendering. Carcass disposed by rendering must be delivered to the rendering facility within twenty-four (24) hours of death unless carcasses are refrigerated or frozen.
(7) Other dead animal disposal methods must be approved by the State Veterinarian on a case by case basis.

Rule 40-13-5-.05 Transportation of Dead Animals

(1) The Commissioner of Agriculture may prohibit or restrict the hauling or transportation of the body, effluent and/or parts of any dead animal.
(2) Dead animals must be transported in covered or leak-proof containers.
(3) The Commissioner of Agriculture may determine the route for transportation of dead animals so as to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious diseases.
(4) Persons engaged in the commercial transportation of dead animals must have a written permit issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Rule 40-13-5-.06 Interstate Transportation of Dead Animals

(1) Dead animals, except for green salted hides, are not allowed to enter Georgia except by a written permit issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
(2) Written permits are not required for licensed research institutions, accredited or state colleges and Universities, and municipal governments transporting or receiving dead animals for research or investigational purposes only.

Rule 40-13-5-.07 Enforcement

Any person, firm, partnership or corporation violating the provisions of this act, or any rule or regulations made pursuant thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided by law.