January 27, 2009

For Immediate Release

CAST Releases New Issue Paper on Ruminant Carcass Disposal

Third in a CAST Series on Carcass Disposal Options for Routine and Catastrophic Mortality



January 29, 2009…Ames, Iowa. The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) is releasing a new Issue Paper, Ruminant Carcass Disposal Options for Routine and Catastrophic Mortality, the third in a CAST three-part series on poultry and livestock carcass disposal.


CAST’s new Issue Paper is being presented at the 2009 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show in Phoenix, Arizona by CAST Executive Vice President John Bonner and Task Force Chair Dr. Marty Vanier, National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, Manhattan, Kansas.


Whether by the hand of accidental disease entry, the weather, or an act of bioterrorism, widespread livestock deaths pose daunting carcass-disposal challenges that, if not met quickly and effectively, can spiral into major food security problems and result in devastating economic losses and environmental consequences.


In any livestock mortality situation, the selected disposal method should mitigate the disease agent or other cause of mortality. The environmental impacts of the disposal method also must be considered, and all factors weighed against the cost. Ultimately, the most effective disposal strategies will be those that are prepared in advance and that make maximum use of all available, suitable options. Predominant methods for carcass disposal in commercial ruminant production include burial and landfill, rendering, composting, incineration, and alkaline hydrolysis.


The full text of the paper Ruminant Carcass Disposal Options for Routine and Catastrophic Mortality (Issue Paper 41, 20 pp.) may be accessed without charge on the CAST website at, along with many of CAST’s other scientific publications. CAST is an international consortium of 36 scientific and professional societies. It assembles, interprets, and communicates credible science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.





Dr. Marty Vanier, Phone 785-532-3929; E-mail


Dr. John Bonner, Phone 515-292-2125, ext. 25; E-mail