Emergency Disposal of On-Farm Deadstock
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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:
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 an authorization.
For additional information on these options, see the Deadstock Disposal link in the Features section of the OMAFRA website, at www.ontario.ca/omafra.
Occasionally, producers lose herds or flocks to unexpected threats, which may include:
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 vital.
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.
OMAFRA bases its decision on the following:
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.
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
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, contact:
OMAFRA or the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) can provide help preparing the application.
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:
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.
Nutrient Management Disclaimer 2018
The information in this factsheet is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to determine legal obligations. To determine your legal obligations, consult the relevant law, www.e-laws.gov.on.ca. If legal advice is required, consult a lawyer. In the event of a conflict between the information in this factsheet and any applicable law, the law prevails.
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