North Dakota law (NDCC 36-14-19.3) states, “If the carcass of an animal which has died of a disease other than is specified in subsections 1 and 2, or from any other cause, it must be burned, buried, composted, or given to a licensed rendering plant within thirty-six hours, or must be disposed of by a method approved by the state veterinarian.  If the carcass is buried, it must be buried not less than four feet below the surface of the ground and covered with dirt to that depth.  No carcass may be disposed of along any public highway or along any stream, lake or river nor be buried near or adjoining any such place.”

To paraphrase, the law states that animals that die for any reason must be disposed of in an approved method within 36 hours of death.

See for an explanation of site selection and specifics for carcass disposal.

An additional approved method of disposal not stated in the law is in an animal-approved landfill.
Producers should contact the landfill to make arrangements before delivering carcasses. For a list of landfills approved to receive carcasses, please contact the DEQ


North Dakota State University has a webpage on carcass disposal at

For more information, contact the Animal Health Division of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (701) 328-2655.