Handling and Disposal of Carcasses from Poultry Operations


On‐farm disposal of dead animals should always be carried out in a manner that protects public health and safety, does not create a nuisance, prevents the spread of disease, and prevents adverse effects on water quality. If you hatch, raise, or keep poultry, state law (Texas Water Code 26.303, Handling and Disposal of Poultry Carcasses) requires you to properly dispose of any birds that may die while in your care or at your facility. The purpose of this law is to prevent poultry carcasses from creating a nuisance orendangering water quality. The law requires the TCEQ to develop rules that will achieve that purpose—in part, by banning routine on‐farm burial of dead poultry. The law does allow on‐farm burial, but only in the event of a major die‐off. Texas Water Code 26.303 and TCEQ‐related rules (Title 30, TexasAdministrative Code, Section 335.25, or 30 TAC 335.25) apply to you if you own or operate a poultry facility, regardless of whether you actually own the poultry. The rules also apply to you even if you are operating a “grandfathered” facility (one exempted because it predates rule enactment) or a facility that is otherwise exempt from TCEQ rules foranimal‐feeding operations. Under TCEQ rules, you must use an approved method for handling routine losses and be prepared to handle the results of a major dieoff, i.e., any incident that causes 0.3 percent or more of your flock to die per day.