Emergency Disposal of On-Farm
Table of Contents
- Qualifying for an Authorization
- Planning and Communication
When disposing of any dead farm animal (deadstock), the farm
operator must comply with Ontario Regulation 106/09, of the
Nutrient Management Act, 2002. Options for the disposal
of on-farm deadstock include:
use of disposal vessels
pick up by a collector licensed under the Food Safety
and Quality Act (FSQA)
transport to a common bin
transport to a waste disposal site approved under the Environmental
Protection Act (EPA), such as a landfill
transport to a disposal facility licensed under the FSQA
Farmers lose livestock and poultry unexpectedly, due to fire,
natural disaster, system or structural failures, or disease. In
situations where farmers cannot comply with O. Reg. 106/09, due
to an emergency, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) may authorize disposal or management of
deadstock that would not normally be permitted. This Factsheet
discusses the process and the factors affecting eligibility for
For additional information on these options, see the Deadstock
Disposal link in the Features section of the OMAFRA website, at
What Happens in an Emergency?
Occasionally, producers lose herds or flocks to unexpected threats,
which may include:
system failures (i.e., ventilation)
structural failure (i.e., barn collapse)
When such an event occurs, matters such as the health and welfare
of the remaining animals and worker safety must first be attended
to, but proper management and disposal of the deadstock are also
Under the regulation, when emergency conditions exist that make
it difficult to dispose of deadstock as specified in the regulation,
farm operators may apply to OMAFRA for authorization for an alternate
method of storage, disposal or management.
Qualifying for an Authorization
OMAFRA bases its decision on the following:
What emergency conditions exist?
How long will they continue?
How much deadstock is involved?
What is their approximate age and weight?
For instance, poultry carcasses will rapidly decompose in the
heat and humidity of summer. Rapid disposal is necessary.
Inability to compost
Emergencies such as structural collapse (Figure
1) or barn fires may result in deadstock being mixed with
debris, which prevents adequate composting. The deadstock may
also be in a state that is not acceptable for collectors.
Figure 1. The destruction of a
barn, due to a fire, may prevent the normal disposal of deadstock.
- What storage, transport or disposal options have been considered?
- Why have they been rejected?
- What conditions exist that make it difficult to comply with
Understand the available storage, transport or disposal options
fully before rejecting them. Options may not be feasible or permitted,
due to weather conditions, geography and availability of resources.
Alternate disposal method
- What method of disposal is being proposed?
- How does it vary from the standards in the regulation?
- What actions will be taken to ensure that the risk of environmental
contamination is prevented or minimized from the storage, management
or disposal methods being proposed? These may include monitoring
of the disposal site or tile drainage, increased separation
distances to sensitive receivers such as surface water and wells,
etc. OMAFRA cannot grant an authorization that could result
in an adverse effect to the environment.
- Are there other agencies involved in the emergency?
- Have they given any instructions for the disposal of the
existing deadstock and any future mortalities that may result
due to this emergency?
- Are there other circumstances or facts that OMAFRA should
be aware of?
In accordance with the regulation, OMAFRA must consider many
factors in addition to the information that is provided in order
to decide whether to grant the emergency disposal authorization.
The decision of the Ministry is final.
If OMAFRA chooses to issue an authorization, it may include whatever
conditions are considered advisable to protect public interest.
If granted an authorization, the farm operator must provide OMAFRA
with satisfactory evidence, within 30 days of the authorization
being granted, that the deadstock was disposed of in accordance
with the authorization.
How to apply
To apply for an Emergency Authorization for disposal of deadstock,
- During normal business hours: Agricultural Contact Centre,
- During off-hours or non-business days: Spills Action Centre,
OMAFRA or the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) can provide help
preparing the application.
Planning and Communication
Prepare a mortality disposal plan outlining how to dispose of
deadstock in a timely, environmentally safe fashion. Some of the
options for managing or disposing of dead farm animals require
advance preparation, such as obtaining substrate for composting.
This can only be done with proper planning.
A mortality disposal plan includes:
- identifying an appropriate location for disposal, storage
- evaluating economic and operational factors
- record keeping
To identify areas on the farm that are suitable for deadstock
disposal, understand the soils on the farm and be able to identify
surface water flow and sensitive areas on the farm. Participate
in the Environmental Farm Plan Program administered by the Ontario
Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Do you know about Ontario's new Deadstock Regulations under
the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA)?
This Factsheet is for informational purposes only and is not,
and should not be, construed as legal advice. In the event of
a conflict between this Factsheet and the NMA and/or O. Reg. 106/09,
the NMA and/or O. Reg. 106/09 govern. Please review the NMA and
O. Reg. 106/09 and, if you have any questions about the application
or interpretation of these regulations or have other legal questions,
consult a lawyer.
Also consult with the applicable federal legislation (if any)
in this area to ensure that you are also in compliance with federal
requirements regarding the disposal of farm animals that die on
For more information on the NMA, call the Nutrient Management
Information Line at 1-866-242-4460, e-mail email@example.com
or visit www.ontario.ca/omafra.
Factsheets are continually being updated so please ensure that
you have the most recent version.