How To Bury A Horse?

Many jurisdictions require the burial site be no fewer than 100 yards from wells, streams, and other water sources; and in some locales, it is illegal to bury a chemically euthanized horse. Generally, a trench 7-feet wide and 9-feet deep is sufficient, with at least 3-4 feet of dirt covering the animals remains.

How do you dispose of a dead horse?

You can arrange the disposal of your dead horse through your veterinarian after they’ve determined the cause. The most common way to dispose of a horses’ body is to bury it, bring it to a landfill, or have it cremated. Horses are an integral part of many people’s families and are trusted companions.

Can I bury a horse on my own land?

Q Can I bury my horse/pony or donkey? Horses that are kept as pets can be buried provided the owner, obtains the agreement of their local authority and follows its advice. The local authority has to agree that the horse is a pet rather than livestock, which can not be buried.

How long does it take for a buried horse to decompose?

Static pile composting of dead, intact horses and livestock is a management practice that can fit into most livestock farms. The practice does require space on your land to construct the compost piles and takes from six to 12 months for the animal to decompose.

Why are horses buried facing east?

Obviously rural western states have slightly more lax laws, but due to possible water contamination and smel The traditional Christian method of positioning the coffin or shroud covered body in the grave was to have the body with the head to the west, feet to the east.

Is it illegal to bury a horse?

The burial of horses is only permitted if they had been kept as pets. Before burying a horse, advice should be sought on the correct procedure e.g. on deciding the location of the burial site to take account of factors such as livestock access and the potential for leaching into watercourses.

What do farmers do when a horse dies?

The horse becomes anesthetized (and therefore unconscious) to such a degree that its heart stops beating and death follows. If it is used then the carcass must be disposed of either by burying (see below) or cremation. It cannot be used for human consumption or animal food.

How much does it cost to bury a horse?

Generally you are looking at anywhere between $50 to $1000, depending on how opulent you want to go with your urn. Another option is burying your pet in a pet cemetery. Your local veterinary surgery will be able to give you more details on local pet cemeteries and prices, as these vary quite considerably.

Why is burying a horse difficult?

Horse Burial Burying an animal that can weigh upward of 1,000 pounds requires a very large hole, one that simply cannot be dug by hand in even the best of soil conditions.

How much is it to put down a horse?

The average cost of having a horse humanely euthanized by a veterinarian and its body disposed of is approximately $250 – a virtual drop in the bucket when it comes to the overall expense of keeping a horse.

Is it legal to burn a dead horse?

Nothing in California State law or within the Placer County Air Pollution Control District’s (District) rules allow for the burning of dead animal carcasses or parts for disposal purposes. To properly dispose of a dead animal(s) contact your local rendering facility or Placer County Environmental Health.

Where can you take a dead horse?

Memorial Pet Care (serves the Continental U.S.) Landfills that Accept Equine Carcasses: * Waste Management® accepts equine carcasses at some, but not all locations. To find out if your local Waste Management location will take horse carcasses, please contact them: 800-963-4776.

How do you compost a dead horse?

You can compost a horse carcass any time of the year. During winter months, composting works best when the carcass is not frozen. If available, use a warm, fresh manure mixture or hot active compost to cover the carcass after placing it on the carbon base. These materials will help start the compost process.

How deep is a horse grave?

The hole you need to bury a horse in doesn’t need to be any deeper than the hole for a human—depending on the local rules, between two feet to twelve feet —but lots longer to fit the body. Bear in mind that you don’t want to find predators have dug up the corpse, so make it a little deeper than the typical two feet.

Why are graves 6 feet deep?

(WYTV) – Why do we bury bodies six feet under? The six feet under rule for burial may have come from a plague in London in 1665. The Lord Mayor of London ordered all the “graves shall be at least six-foot deep.” Gravesites reaching six feet helped prevent farmers from accidentally plowing up bodies.

Why are people buried without shoes?

In some historic eras, much like today, people were buried without shoes because it seemed wasteful. In the Middle Ages specifically, shoes were very expensive. It made more sense to pass on shoes to people who were still alive.

What to Do With a Dead Horse: A Strategic Guide

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! It is likely that you feel as though you have lost a dear friend as a result of your horse’s death, and you haven’t given much consideration to what you will do with its remains. I’ve been in this situation myself, and I’ve looked at many solutions for dealing with a dead horse. After your veterinarian has confirmed the reason of your dead horse’s death, you may make arrangements for its disposal via him or her.

Horses are a beloved member of many people’s households and are regarded as reliable friends.

That’s why we’re here; this essay will explain how to get rid of them in the most environmentally friendly manner.

The different ways to dispose of a dead horse.

Horses are lovely creatures, but they also come with some sad truths, one of which is mortality, which they must face. He and his family were devastated when a promising young horse died as a result of pneumonia complications; my buddy was among those who suffered. The death of a horse is an unavoidable fact of life. After getting off the bus, I looked up to see my grandpa standing in our pasture, staring down at his buckskin that had been laying still on the ground. It was my first memory of this encounter.

Grandpa did not want us to waste time grieving for him because we needed to dispose of his corpse before it went bad.


When thebuckskindied, we didn’t have to be concerned about following the rules. Using a tractor, we transported him deep into the woods, where we excavated a large, broad grave for our friend to rest in. Today, burying a horse just about anyplace is not an option since there are regulations governing where animals can be buried in certain areas. Despite the fact that these restrictions add to the administrative burden on people who wish to bury their horses, they also aid in the prevention of sickness and contaminants from spreading further in our ecosystem.

Because of the numerous restrictions placed on burial places, it is essential to be familiar with your local regulations before burying a horse.

How to bury a horse-What you need

  • Check with your local government to see what rules and restrictions apply to animal burial: To find out what rules apply to animal funerals in your area, contact your local authorities or state agriculture departments. You may also go to their website and look under “Animal Ordinances” for further information. Select a location: Choosing a location for your horse’s burial should be done with consideration. Chose high ground if at all possible, and be sure that the spot you choose does not have any subsurface risks such as gas lines, water pipelines, or other utilities nearby. Consider choosing a location outside of your pasture if you have a choice. Make a hole in the ground: The pit required for horse burial must be substantial, often more than six feet deep and around seven feet square. You have two options for doing this task: hire someone or rent a backhoe. When it comes to moving the horse’s remains into the grave, a backhoe comes in handy. The last stages are as follows: Make use of a backhoe to transport your horse and any keepsakes to its last resting place. Once this is completed, fill the hole with water. Take a minute to say farewell one final time to your horse’s bones as they are laid to rest in the grave. This is a difficult responsibility for any horse owner
  • Take as much time as you need to say goodbye to your horse.


It was the first time I had transported a dead horse to a dump, so I reached out to our local facility and was astonished to learn that they accept horse corpses for free. To be clear, you do not require any special permissions or authorizations of any kind. The deceased animal must be loaded into the landfill, which is the most difficult challenge to overcome. It would be preferable if you had access to a backhoe for loading your horse.

Once you arrive at the dumpsite, staff will be on hand to assist you in unloading the animal. I recommend that you consult your local landfill before packing your animal’s body and travelling there because the restrictions are likely to change from county to county or parish to parish.


I’m not familiar with the process of cremating a horse. As a result, I needed to conduct some study on this. He reached out to LovedPets in Royal Oaks, California, where he chatted with James. He contributed a great deal of useful information, such as the following: It costs $1,250 for normal horses and $850 for ponies. A draft or warmblood horse costs somewhat more, at roughly $1,500 to $1,600 dollars per horse. From the time your loved ones come at their facility, LovedPets makes it a point to treat them with decency and respect.

They never chop up a horse before the cremation.

After the ashes have been incinerated, they will offer you with all of the appropriate urns for your ashes, as well as the option of having photos placed on the urns if you so wish, so that you may honor the life of your beloved equine partner.

Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any local companies that provide cremation services in a similar manner as LovedPets-so if you want your horse cremated and do not reside in California, you will need to go online or speak with your veterinarian for assistance.

Alternative horse disposal methods.

  • Animal rendering is the process of breaking down an animal into items such as bone meal, which may then be utilized for animal feed and supplements. Composting a horse is a time-consuming procedure that can take up to ten months and is not recommended. While doing so has its drawbacks, there are some advantages: the horse’s corpse decomposes producing rich soil that may be used as fertilizer for plants
  • An animal corpse is transformed into harmless and sterile byproducts, which may then be utilized as fertilizer, using a biodigester, which is a revolutionary machine.

How to comfort a dying horse

As horse owners, we acknowledge that we have the duty of making decisions about the health and well-being of our animals. The majority of these options are basic, such as which hay to use or how much time we’ll devote to educating the animals. The responsibility of horse ownership comes with tough decisions, such as those related to geriatric and end-of-life care for your horse. There may be differences in how each individual approaches things, and the best option for one horse owner may not be the best one for another.

  • Do something extra special: You may spend additional time grooming, stroking, and providing your horse with treats that he or she enjoys, for example. Make sure you don’t offer them anything that might irritate their digestive system (be cautious). Take your horse for a ride: If your horse is still ambulatory and competent, take it on a special excursion or stroll to give it some exercise and enjoyment. Make an effort to be present: Because a horse and its owner have a strong link, you should spend as much time as possible with your animal during his final days on earth. Maintain your composure: It is important to be patient and keep calm when a horse is in terrible form
  • Otherwise, the horse will become depressed and become uncooperative. Your animal companions can sense when you’re sad, and this will only make them feel worse.

It’s possible that your horse’s life is in its closing hours, but it doesn’t have to end in suffering. In order to prevent your animal from suffering in their final days, your veterinarian can prescribe medicine for them. Your veterinarian may also offer methods of providing comfort or euthanasia as a compassionate alternative when the time comes.

How to make the decision whether or not to put down an animal

Putting your sick horse down may be on your list of priorities if he or she is acting unwell. However, before you make your final selection, consider the following questions to assist you:

  1. How long has the horse been suffering from his illness? In the case of an elderly horse who has been sick for a long period of time, it may be necessary to put him down. Is your horse still having a good time? Is he or she satisfied despite the fact that they are unable to participate in all of the activities they used to because of their illness or injury? Is it really essential for my horse to suffer any longer than is absolutely required? When it comes to your animal, you should always do what is best for them — if they’re in agony and displaying symptoms of impending death, putting them down may be the most humanitarian thing you can do for them.
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Because of their social structure, I believe horses are aware when a member of their herd has died. Horses are herd animals, and they build strong bonds with the other members of their herd. When others are injured, sick, or dead, they frequently display signals of anxiety or sadness. It is, however, hard to declare with certainty that they are mourning the loss of another person.

What is the dead horse theory?

The dead horse notion is based on a Native American adage, which states that when you discover that your “horse” isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to get off and go somewhere else.

It is possible for life to alter at any point in time, and we must learn to adjust when things do not go our way.

Do horses know when another horse dies?

Horses are herd animals, and they build strong ties with their companions. When other members of their group are injured, sick, or die, they frequently display indications of anxiety or sadness. It is unclear if horses express grief when another dies, but I believe they are aware when another has passed away.

What to Do After Your Horse Dies

However, while many people are aware that they will need to make end-of-life decisions for themselves and their loved ones, it is equally as crucial to prepare for the loss of your four-legged family members. Although burying a dog or cat on your property in the country may be permitted, burying a horse on your land–and ensuring that it is legal–can become a bit more problematic due to the size of the animal. World Horse Welfare provides resources for horses that are nearing the end of their lives.

After you’ve said your final goodbyes, you have a few alternatives to think about.

Horse Burial

In order to bury an animal that may weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds, a massive hole must be created, and even in the best of soil conditions, this hole will be impossible to dig by hand in most cases. Knowing how and who will bury your horse can help to guarantee that you are not left with a deceased horse on your property for any longer than is absolutely required. It’s likely that if you reside in an agricultural region, word of mouth will be the most effective method of determining who has a piece of machinery (think backhoe, tractor, or tractor with a bucket) that can dig you a hole when you need it.

  • Here are some things to think about: Consider whether the owner of the land where you board your horse will allow you to bury your horse on his or her property.
  • If they reject, don’t take it personally, but keep in mind that you’ll need to plan for Plan B.
  • Make certain that the driver is familiar with the roads that you will want them to travel on, and inquire about the cost of a delivery and rental fee, which may vary depending on the distance the machine must go and the length of time it is being hired from them.
  • If you live within city limits but are in an agricultural zone, you will need to check with local ordinances to determine whether you can lawfully inter your horse on your farm.
  • While burial your horse on your property will provide you with a place to go and grieve the death of your beloved animal, it also comes with its own set of risks and hazards that must be considered.
  • In Kentucky, the cost of hiring the equipment, having it delivered, and having someone run it might range between $200 and $400 on average, depending on the situation.

Preparing ahead of time and inquiring with the equipment operator about whether or not you need to be present might help you avoid some potentially frightening scenes.

Carcass Removal

It is possible to find services that will come to your farm and pick up your deceased horse, whether you prefer not to bury him on your property or you want assistance transporting him to the location where he will be cremated. Numerous services, including removal, burial, and cremation, are provided by many of these businesses. Each of these services has a corresponding price, which may vary depending on where you live in the country. If you reside in an area where horses cannot be buried on the premises, it may be necessary to have the horse removed.

A major advantage of hiring a business to come to your home to remove your animal is that you are typically not need to be there for the service to be performed.

Many times, the cost of removal is comprised of a predetermined price (usually starting at $100) plus mileage, which is normally charged at a rate of $1 per mile traveled.

Horse Cremation

Horse cremation services are provided by a large number of state laboratories, equestrian clinics, and even some private companies. If you want to employ this approach, you will need to arrange for the transportation of your horse’s body to the facility. When looking for a local equine cremation, word of mouth and web searches are the most effective methods of discovery. Many people will be able to share their own experiences with the companies in the area with you. In addition, you have the option of selecting an urn that holds special importance for you to hold your horse’s ashes once they have been returned to you.

During your conversation with the crematorium, it may be good to inquire as to whether or not the ashes you get will be entirely from your horse; some services cremate numerous horses at the same time, meaning that the ashes given to you may not be solely from your horse.

See additional suggestions for memorials for your horse in this article.

Make careful to find out how much it will cost to have your horse cremated up front so that you aren’t caught off guard when the bill arrives.

The fact that you make decisions now, before they become required, will guarantee that you have one less tough decision to make when it comes time to say goodbye to your closest friend in the future.

Above-Ground Burial for Horses – The Horse

Compassionate Composting is a unique equestrian company that I had the pleasure to explore while attending the Best Horse Practices Summit in Maine this past February. This firm specializes solely in the composting of deceased horses. Before you wrinkle your nose and turn away, consider the fact that many communities around the country are experiencing an increasing lack of alternatives for dealing with a horse’s remains after the animal has passed away. More attention is being placed on animal rendering firms to ensure that corpses from animals executed using barbiturates such as sodium pentobarbital, which is the most prevalent method of euthanizing horses, are not rejected.

  1. If you choose to have your horse’s body sent to a rendering facility, you can choose between euthanasia by gunshot or euthanasia with a captive bolt.
  2. Alternatively, you might explore what is known as an above-ground burial, which involves the composting of a horse’s remains.
  3. The process is more environmentally friendly than anaerobic decomposition (which does not require oxygen) that happens in landfills, which is very slow and produces methane (a greenhouse gas that harms the environment) and other nasty aromas.
  4. Michelle Melaragno owns and operates Compassionate Composting in Auburn, Maine.

Q: Please tell us about yourself and your business. How long have you been doing this, and what motivated you to get into it?

Melaragno: In the fall of 2012, I began Compassionate Composting, an above-ground horse burial business that is still in operation. Recently, I had acquired some agricultural/resource-protection designated property adjacent to my present property with the intention of starting a farm-based company. Because I had personally witnessed and heard about some very horrifying removal and disposal tales (including dead horses), I was certain that a compassionate procedure that was also ecologically friendly was desperately needed.

As an assistant instructor for the (regional) Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue program, I have extensive expertise in the use of specialised equipment and mechanical handling procedures for large animals, including emaciated horses.

I attended the Maine Compost School and proceeded through the process of obtaining a zoning ordinance amendment with the aid and support of the Maine Compost Team. I also received assistance and support from the Maine Compost Team.

Q: I know there are new laws where I live in Idaho and elsewhere in the country that prohibit rendering companies from picking up bodies of horses that have been chemically euthanized. Water quality laws or concerns might also prohibit burying a horse on personal property. Other than the landfill, is composting the only other options for “disposing” of a deceased horse?

Melaragno: At the moment, the most often used choices in Maine and New England are ground burial (which is subject to municipal and state restrictions), cremation, and composting. For huge animal corpses, there are few possibilities for rendering in New England, and there are even fewer (if any) landfills that would accept them. Another method is alkaline hydrolysis (which involves the use of lye and heat), although this is not yet widely accessible. Ground burial, composting, and rendering are all governed by state laws, which vary from one another.

Every state also has its own set of rules and regulations that govern what they permit.

Q: How does the composting process work with a large animal body? How long will it take to decompose? Can the owner pick up and safely use the finished compost?

Melaragno: While most people are familiar with the concept of “backyard composting,” it is vital to emphasize that the composting of huge animals is a whole distinct procedure. It is a thermophilic process (in which greater temperatures—between 106 and 252 degrees Fahrenheit—are reached than in standard composting) that uses a specific “recipe” for bulking materials and shaping windrows to get the desired results. In composting, bulking materials are carbon-based elements that are added to a pile to give it structure, such as shavings, dried leaves, landscaping materials, shredded paper, and animal bedding.

Upon placement in a huge, long windrow, the animal is placed on a deep bed of bulking material, next to but without touching other animals.

Standards regarding the shape and size of the windrow/pile must be adhered to in order to accomplish the following:

  1. Prevent potential odor problems
  2. Do not attract predators
  3. Keep body fluids contained
  4. And provide the greatest possible conditions for successful composting.

A well formed pile or windrow will degrade all soft tissue in four to five months if it is properly prepared. Only bones are left, and they are continuing to decompose at a slower rate. In order to assure pathogen (disease-causing organism) annihilation, temperatures are measured to ensure that the procedure achieves at least 131 degrees Fahrenheit for three consecutive days during the whole process. Every animal’s location has been marked, and its owners can return a few months later to collect compost from the area where the animal was last seen.

There are no limits on the final use of the produced compost, which has been approved.

My recommendation is for horse owners to utilize the compost as a soil supplement for landscaping or flower beds, or to put it on the pastures where their horses grazed.

Q: What kind of permitting is required for a business like yours?

Melaragno: The regulations and rules will range from municipality to municipality and state to state. In order to get a zoning rule change in my municipality, I had to go through a time-consuming and expensive procedure. An approved Compost Management Plan must be developed in collaboration with professionals such as the Maine Compost Team, the Department of Agriculture, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Extension Service, and the Maine State Planning Office. A Compost Management Plan is also required in Massachusetts.

Q: Do you provide a pickup service? And if so, how does that work?

This is the most significant component of the services I provide to horse owners since my approach entails courteous and careful handling of the horse’s body. Melaragno: The corpse of a horse is not dragged across the ground (in chains by a leg or neck), as is the case with rendering services. I make use of large animal emergency rescue equipment, notably the Large Animal Rescue Glide, as well as huge animal rescue procedures and mechanics in order to save large animals. The Rescue Glide is essentially a horse-sized stretcher made of (thin but extremely durable plastic) that enables for the compassionate and delicate handling of the horse’s body during an emergency situation.

Q: What do you recommend horse owners in other parts of the country think about when considering or selecting a composting service for their deceased horse?

Melaragno: I would suggest the following:

  1. Before a horse owner ever has a need, they should investigate the possibilities accessible in their region (as well as neighboring states)
  2. Make sure you are in compliance with all local and state laws and regulations regarding ground burial and composting
  3. And, if burial or composting is permitted on your property, make sure you are in compliance with all applicable laws regarding setbacks from roads, structures, property boundaries, wells, and other water sources.

Each state’s extension service is a fantastic resource!

Q: How have horse owners reacted to the idea of “compassionate composting”?

Melaragno: There appears to be increasing acceptance of the notion of composting horses using this above-ground burial approach as time goes on. Horse owners are often happy to know that their horses are being treated with care and that they are employing an environmentally friendly method of transporting their animals. Many horse owners report that my approaches allow them to calmly observe the handling process and frequently step in to assist, which appears to provide them with a pleasant feeling of closure in many circumstances.

If you continue to use the site, we will assume that you are in agreement with this policy.

FAQs – Horse Burial – Equine Removal

When our equine friends reach the end of their lives, it is common for us to think about horse burial as the first thing that occurs. However, it is necessary to take into account the realities of the situation. In order to make an educated decision, you should review the following information. Contact our staff at Equine End of Life Service if you require any further information or assistance. The burying of horses maintained as pets is permitted as long as the owner receives the permission of their local authorities and complies with its recommendations.

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Equines that are no longer maintained as pets must be collected and transported to a facility that has been approved under the EU Animal By-Production Regulations.

Our licensed collectors are available to assist you with this service throughout the United States. Horse owners are required to adhere to any and all requirements set forth by their local government in regards to the burial place. These are likely to include the following:

  • 250 meters away from any water source, such as a well, borehole, or spring
  • It must be at least 30 meters apart from any other spring or stream. At least ten meters away from a field drain
  • The subsoil must be removed from the bottom of the burial pit, providing for a hole deep enough for at least 1M of dirt to cover the carcass
  • The carcass must be removed from the bottom of the burial pit

When a horse dies unexpectedly or in the case of emergency equine euthanasia, it may be essential to utilize heavy plant and machinery, which, depending on how they are set up, might make burial difficult.

QAm I making the right decision in putting my horse down?

Although saying goodbye will never be an easy decision, it may be comforting to know that only a small percentage of horses die naturally and without pain. Euthanasia will guarantee that your pet dies in peace, but knowing when to make the decision is a source of concern for all pet owners. The following are some major clues that may indicate that the end is approaching near:

  • Appetite loss, depression, and chronic weight loss are all symptoms of bulimia. After lying down, it might be difficult to move and/or get up.

When it comes to euthanasia, there are two alternatives available: fatal injection or deadly injection with a shotgun. It may be beneficial to have a plan for what will happen to your horse’s body following the event. The fact that you have made arrangements in advance will make things much easier for you when the time arrives. For additional information, please contact our headquarters at +44 (0)1335 320030. During this trying period, you may require some emotional support from others. In order to guarantee that horse owners are supported through every stage of equine euthanasia, World Horse Welfare, the British Horse Society, and the Blue Cross have put together programs and information.

Euthanasia And Carcass Disposal In Horses

Horses are kept for a variety of purposes, including athletic competition, breeding, pleasure riding, and companionship, amongst other things. For the benefit of the animal’s companionship and occasionally financial gain, the owner is responsible for providing the animal with adequate food and water, shelter, exercise, protection from illness and injury (to the extent possible), and treatment from a veterinarian, farrier, equine dentist, or other appropriately qualified professional when necessary.

What is euthanasia?

Euthanasia is the conscious and reasoned choice to end a person’s life. It is also known as assisted suicide.

When might my horse require euthanasia?

Many horses survive well into their twenties, and a tiny percentage of them even live into their forties. At some point in their lives, the consequences of old age, sickness, or accident may become so profoundly disabling that it is necessary to make a decision about what is best for the horse’s welfare. When your horse or pony is no longer enjoying life or when his or her quality of life has deteriorated intolerably, you will be able to recognize it. Based on his or her prior experience with and present examination of your horse or pony, your veterinarian will assist you in making an informed decision.

This is frequently a terrible and stressful moment, and it is worthwhile to give some thought to the practicalities of coping with this tragedy before it comes.

If you have a loved one who has passed away, it is especially important to plan ahead of time. Your veterinarian can give you advise on whether or not it is necessary to put your horse to sleep at this point.

How is euthanasia performed for horses and ponies?

There are two types of euthanasia procedures that are often employed. 1. The use of lethal injection. The only person who may utilize this procedure is a veterinarian. It is administered to the horse an intravenous (jugular vein in the neck) injection of anesthetic or a similar medicine, or a combination of substances, which causes it to pass away. The horse is sedated (and hence unconscious) to such a degree that its heart stops beating and it dies as a result of the procedure. If it is utilized, the carcass must be disposed of either by burial (see below) or cremating, depending on the circumstances.

  1. 2.
  2. Licensed veterinarians who are also licensed to keep and use firearms for this purpose are the only ones who can employ this means of self-defense.
  3. The horse collapses unconscious on the ground instantly, and the lungs and heart fail shortly thereafter, but only when a varied amount of time has elapsed after that.
  4. If this procedure is employed, the corpse can either be used for animal food, such as in the remaining hunt kennels, or it can be disposed of through the conventional channels (see below).

How do I dispose of my horse’s carcass?

There are very few exceptions to the rule that all horses must be disposed of quickly after death, and they must be brought to a facility that has been certified for the correct collection and disposal of animal carcasses. If an autopsy is required (e.g., to determine why or how the horse died, and/or to determine the nature or severity of disease processes that led to euthanasia being performed), the carcass must be transported as soon as possible to a suitable location for the examination to be performed by your veterinarian or to an appropriate equine pathology laboratory.

  1. Private enterprises and/or veterinary offices provide their own horse disposal services in some places, which are often in high horse population areas.
  2. For horses in locations where hunts are still in operation, euthanasia, collection, and disposal of the carcass may be performed by a local hunt kennel if it is determined that the horse had not been given specified medications previous to death.
  3. Some local authorities may grant exemptions on the basis that your horse or pony was kept as a pet.
  4. For those who desire to bury their horses or ponies, they will need to get in touch with their local authorities to see whether they will allow them to do so.

Making inquiries and learning about the resources that are available to you in your region, as well as how to access them should the need arise, may be quite beneficial in this situation. Your veterinarian will be your initial point of contact for any information you may need.

Resources for making a humane end of life decision for your horse

Without exception, all dead horses must be disposed of quickly, and they must be sent to a facility that has been certified for the correct collection and disposal of animal carcasses. If a post-mortem examination is required (for example, to determine why or how the horse died and/or to determine the nature or severity of the disease processes that led to euthanasia being performed), the carcass must be delivered as soon as possible to a suitable location for this to be performed by your veterinarian or to an appropriate equine pathology laboratory.

  1. Some commercial enterprises and/or veterinary offices provide their own horse disposal services in areas with a high horse population, which is common in high horse density regions.
  2. For horses in locations where hunts are still in operation, euthanasia, collection, and disposal of the carcass may be performed by a local hunt kennel if it is determined that the horse had not been given specified medications previous to its death.
  3. The fact that your horse or pony was maintained as a pet may qualify you for an exemption from the law in some areas.
  4. Considering the natural death of a beloved horse or pony is difficult and unpleasant, but contemplating the decision to put them down may be much more difficult and painful.
  5. Your veterinarian will be your initial point of contact for any information you may need to get.

The following definitions and guidelines apply:

State Rule: Where relevant, the state regulation is incorporated into the text. Because of space limits, if a legislation is extensive, simply a link is supplied rather than the entire text. An euthanasia program that is low-cost is referred to as the Euthanasia Program. Equine Crematory/Cemetery Services:Facilities that are capable of offering horse corpse cremation and/or burial services are available. The term “rendering” refers to vendors who will pick up and remove deceased horses from an owner’s land, as well as dispose of the carcass.

Please keep this in mind.


Horse burial – Wikipedia

Inclusion of State Regulation:Inclusion of state regulations when relevant. In order to conserve space, if a legislation is lengthy, simply a link to it is supplied. Refers to a low-cost euthanasia program. Euthanasia Program: Equine Crematory/Cemetery Services:Facilities that are capable of offering horse corpse cremation and/or burial. The term “rendering” refers to vendors who will pick up and remove deceased horses from an owner’s property as well as dispose of the corpse. You should keep in mind that many providers service huge geographic areas, some of which extend over several states.

In order to obtain further information, please contact any out-of-state suppliers that are listed in your region. AL|AK|AZ|AR|CA|CO|CT|DE|FL|GA|HI|ID|IL|IN|IA|KS|KY|LA|ME|MD|MA|MI|MN|MS|MO|MT|NE|NV|NH|NJ|NM|NY|NC|ND|OH|OK|OR|PA|RI|SC|SD|TN|TX|UT|VT|VA|WA|WV|WI|WY

Background and detail

In human societies, the horse has a significant symbolic significance (seehorse worship). In Celtic and Germanic cultures, for example, the horse “could be associated with the journeying sun,” and horses were deified and used as indivination; however, horse sacrifice in Celtic cultures is rare, whereas horses were regularly sacrificed and buried alongside dead humans in Germany and Scandinavia, according to the author. The Indo-European universality and importance of horse sacrifice (which in many cases included a symbolic marriage between a monarch and a mare) attests to its importance, as does the fact that horse sacrifice was practiced throughout history.

Horses were sometimes burnt, sometimes buried; they were sometimes buried among people, sometimes in a separate pit; certain societies appear to have preferred horse burial for male warriors, while others did not appear to make a distinction based on gender.

Geographical and historical distribution

It is believed that the tradition of horse burial is tied to the historical region occupied by the domesticated horse, which was first theEurasian Steppe between 4000 and 3500 BCE. Turkey, China, and Indo-European societies are among the first cultures to have a mythology that would justify horse burial, as do those in or near those countries. It is said that a kind of horse burial may be traced back to the Paleolithic period, when the skin of a horse was hung over a pole and portions of the animal’s bones were left within the skin to keep the animal’s form.

  • The earliest known horse burial in theOld World goes back to the fifth or fourth millennia BC and was discovered in S’ezzhee, Russia, in a cemetery on the Volga that belonged to theSamara civilization.
  • It was customary for these types of funerals to include the sacrifice and burial of one or more horses in order to join the bones of high-ranking members or soldiers.
  • A year following the death of a person’s horse, the horse is slaughtered in a celebration that includes horse races, and the custom is still practiced today by the Kazakh people.
  • It is possible to find horse burial sites around the world, particularly in the areas populated by Indo-Aryans, Turkic peoples, and Chinese peoples.
  • A horse burial from Bactria gives evidence of the movement of horse civilizations from Central Asia into Turkmenistan during the second millennium BCE, according to archaeologists.
  • Along with the main male body with his accessories, a nomad’s kurganburial atKostromskayain southern Russia contained thirteen people with no decoration above him, and around the perimeter of the burial, twenty-two horses were buried in pairs.
  • Equine burials were a component of the Pazyryk funerals, in which elaborately decorated horses were murdered and buried in chambers that were separate from the chambers that contained the human remains.

Horse graves were left by the Romans all across their empire, including first-century burials at modern-day Waremme, Belgium, and Beuningen, the Netherlands, among other places.

Among Germanic cultures

Mound 17, Sutton Hoo, has the remains of a horse burial. Germanic peoples placed a high value on the horse; according to Tacitus, a horse may have been a friend of the deity Wodan, and they may have served as confidants to the gods themselves. Throughout Scandinavian literature from the 8th through the 11th century, horses are emphasized as being important in Viking life. Horses were strongly linked with the gods, particularly Odin and Freyr, throughout history. Horses were important in both funerary ceremonies and other rituals, and they were especially important in funeral practices.

Outsider conflicts, funerals, the consumption of horse meat, and horse sacrifice are some of the rites linked with these events.

Actual horse burials in England are extremely unusual, and they “may indicate that the country has been influenced by the continent.” Mound 17atSutton Hoo has a well-known Anglo-Saxon horse burial (dating from the sixth/seventh centuries) and is only a few yards away from the more renowned ship burialin Mound 1.

  • Another notable example is theWulfsen horse burial, which dates back to 700–800 AD and is located nearHamburg, Germany.
  • The archaeological record in Norway has shown certain patterns that are similar to those seen in horse graves in other parts of the world, according to the findings.
  • Horse burials have been discovered in both Norway and Iceland, and have been shown to be more common among men, however they are not exclusively found among males.
  • The majority of tombs are surrounded by mounds that are round or oval in shape.
  • Weapons and tools are typically discovered in male tombs, whereas tools, beads, and brooches are typically discovered in female burials.
  • Viking funeral rites were elaborate and spectacular affairs.
  • Days of mourning were observed, special funeral clothing were sewn, a dog was sacrificed, horses were run then hacked into pieces and loaded into a ship with the deceased, and the entire thing was burned at the stake.
  • When you take into account the monetary value of horses, it’s likely that this was not a choice that was made lightly either.

Given the public presentation of the sacrifice, it seems unlikely that it was performed exclusively for personal religious reasons, and it is possible that it had significant societal ramifications as well.

In Chinese culture

Horse burials have also been documented in Ancient China, dating back to the Shang Dynasty. The tomb of Duke Jing of Qi (reigned 547–490 BCE) is particularly noteworthy since it featured a separate hole containing the bones of perhaps more than 600 horses, according to certain estimates. Later funerals, particularly those from the Tang dynasty, were adorned with the well-known ceramic horses.

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  1. “A ‘bizarre cow lady’ has been discovered at an Anglo-Saxon dig in Cambridgeshire.” BBC News Online, June 25, 2012. [abDavidson, Hilda Roderick Ellis] Retrieved on June 25, 2012
  2. AbDavidson (1988). Legends and Symbols in Pagan Europe: The Religions of Early Scandinavian and Celtic Civilizations Manchester University Press, pp. 53ff. ISBN 9780719025792. Obtainable on June 25, 2012
  3. Abcd J. P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams are co-authors of this work (1997). “Horse”. In the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, you’ll find a wealth of information. TaylorFrancis, pp. 273–79, ISBN 9781884964985, TaylorFrancis. abCarver, M. O. H. (2012, June 26)
  4. AbCarver, M. O. H. (1998). Sutton Hoo: Is it the last resting place of Kings? University of Pennsylvania Press, p.167, ISBN 9780812234558, retrieved on June 25, 2012
  5. Ab (9 September 1999). China Environment News is a publication that publishes news on the environment in China. On June 6, 2014, the original version of this article was archived. abLoumand, Ulla
  6. Retrieved on June 27, 2012
  7. AbLoumand, Ulla (2006). It is titled “The Horse and Its Role in Icelandic Burial Practices, Mythology, and Society.” It is written in Icelandic. In the case of Anders Andrén (ed.). An International Conference on Old Norse Religion in Long-Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes, and Interactions was held in Lund, Sweden, from June 3–7, 2004. The theme was “Old Norse Religion in Long-Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes, and Interactions.” Kristina Jennbert and Catharina Raudvere are two of the most talented women in the world. Retrieved on June 25, 2012, from Nordic Academic Press, pages 130–34, ISBN 9789189116818. András, Róna-Tas, Róna-Tas (1999). The Early Middle Ages in Hungarian History: An Introduction to Early Hungarian History, Central European University Press, p. 138, ISBN 9789639116481, accessed June 2012
  8. AbcJohns, Catherine (2006). Horses have a rich history, mythology, and artistic legacy. Harvard University Press, p. 23. ISBN 9780674023239. Retrieved on June 26, 2012
  9. Abcd J. Edward Chamberlin is an author who lives in the United States (2007). Horse How the Horse Has Influenced the Development of Civilizations Retrieved on June 25, 2012, from Olma Media Group, p. 48ff, ISBN 9781904955368. J. P. Kuzmina, Elena Efimovna
  10. Kuzmina, Elena Efimovna
  11. Mallory, J. P. (2007). The Indo-Iranians trace their origins back to ancient times. Brill Publishing Company, pp. 229, 330, and 373. ISBN 9789004160545. Retrieved on June 25, 2012
  12. Gonen, Rivka (1992). Patterns of Burial and Cultural Diversity in Canaan during the Late Bronze Age. Eisenbrauns, p. 131.ISBN9780931464683. Retrieved on June 25, 2012
  13. Neghban, Ezat O. Eisenbrauns, p. 131.ISBN9780931464683 (1996). Marlik: The Excavation Report in Its Entirety. ISBN 9780924171321. UPenn Museum of Archaeology, p. 24. ISBN 9780924171321. Retrieved on June 25, 2012
  14. Young, Rodney Stuart (1982). Three Outstanding Early Tumuli. Book: UPenn Museum of Archaeology, pp. 76et passim, ISBN: 9780934718394, accessed on 25 June 2012
  15. Bunson, Margaret, et al (2002). The Ancient Egyptian Encyclopedia is a comprehensive resource for learning about ancient Egypt. Retrieved on June 25, 2012, from Infobase, p. 171, ISBN 9781438109978
  16. Hugh Honourand A World History of Art, by John Fleming, 1st edition, 1982, p. 123. (many later editions), Macmillan, London, page references to the 1984 Macmillan 1st edn. paperback edition of the book ISBN0333371852
  17. Rudenko, Serge Ivanovich
  18. ISBN0333371852 (1970). The Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age Horsemen: Siberian Frozen Tombs of Iron Age Horsemen ISBN 9780520013957
  19. AbBerend, Nóra, University of California Press, pp.12 et passim, ISBN 9780520013957. Retrieved on June 25, 2012. (2007). From 900 to 1200, Christianization and the rise of Christian monarchy occurred in Scandinavia, Central Europe, and Russia. Róna-Tas, András. Cambridge University Press, pp. 216, 321. ISBN 9780521876162. Retrieved on June 25, 2012. (1999). Hungarians and Europe in the Early Middle Ages: An Introduction to Early Hungarian History is a book on the history of Hungary in the early middle ages. Johan Nicolay’s book, Central European UP, pages 122 and 138, ISBN 9789639116481, was published in 2012. (2007). Weapons and Horse Gear from Non-military Contexts in the Rhine Delta: The Use and Significance of Weaponry and Horse Gear (50 Bc to Ad 450). pp. 231, 233.ISBN9789053562536. Retrieved on June 25, 2012
  20. Jennbert, Kristina. Amsterdam University Press (2006). In Sikora, Maeve, “Diversity in Viking Age Horse Burial: A Comparative Study of Norway, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland,” p. 130–133, she discusses the horse’s role in Icelandic burial practices, mythology and society. Sikora, Maeve, “The Horse and Its Role in Icelandic Burial Practices, Mythology, and Society,” p. 130–133. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, volume 13, number 3, pages 87–109 (Owen-Crocker, Gale R., ed., 2004). (2000). The Four Funerals in Beowulf, as well as the Poem’s overall structure. abJupp, Peter C.
  21. Gittings, Clare. Manchester University Press, p. 71. ISBN 9780719054976. Retrieved on June 25, 2012. (1999). Death in England: An Illustrated History is a book on the history of death in England. Manchester University Press, pp. 67-72, ISBN 9780719058110. Retrieved on June 26, 2012
  22. Maeve Sikora and Maeve Sikora (2004). “Diversity in Viking Age Horse Burial: A Comparative Study of Norway, Iceland, Scotland, and Ireland” is the title of a paper published in the journal “Viking Age Horse Burial.” The Journal of Irish Archaeology, volume 13, pages 87–109
  23. “Some Scandinavian Sacrifices,” by Jacqueline Simpson, published in 1967. “Ancient site shows stories of sacrificed horses,” Folklore, vol. 78, no. 3, 1967, pp. 190–220, doi: 10.1080/0015587x.1967.9717093, “Ancient site reveals stories of sacrificed horses,” Folklore, vol. 78, no. 3, 1967, doi: 10.1080/0015587x.1967.9717093, “Ancient site reveals stories of sacrificed Xinhua News Agency, August 24, 2005. The original version of this article was published on November 7, 2016. 1 June 2012
  24. Retrieved 1 June 2012


  • Ulla Loumand’s “The Horse and Its Role in Icelandic Burial Practices, Mythology, and Society,” in Old Norse Religion in Long-term Perspectives Origins, Changes, and Interactions, ed. Andren, Anders, Kristina Jennbert, and Catharina Raudvere, pp. 130–33 in Old Norse Religion in Long-term Perspectives Origins, Changes, and Interactions, edited by And Swedish publisher Nordic Academic published a book in 2006 with the ISBN 918911681X. Wilfrid Bonser is the author of the book. “Magical Practices Against Elves” is the title of this article. Jennbert, Kristina
  • Folklore 37.4 (1926): 350-63
  • Folklore 37.4 (1926): 350-63. Archaeology and Old Norse Religion both reveal a recurrent symbiotic relationship between animals and humans. Nordic Academic Publishing, Lund, Sweden, 2011
  • Sikora, Maeve. “Diversity in Viking Age Horse Burial: A Comparative Study of Norway, Iceland, Scotland, and Ireland,” according to the journal “Diversity in Viking Age Horse Burial.” Turville-Petre, Joan
  • The Journal of Irish Archaeology, vol. 12, no. 13, 2003/2004, pp. 87-109
  • Turville-Petre, Joan. “Hengest and Horsa,” says the narrator. Simpson, Jacqueline, Saga-Book of the Viking Society, 14 (1953–57), 273–90
  • Saga-Book of the Viking Society, 14 (1953–57), 273–90
  • Simpson, Jacqueline. “A Few Scandinavian Sacrifices,” says the author. Folklore 78.3 (1967): 190-202
  • Folklore 78.3 (1967): 190-202

Horse carcass disposal

|If you have the necessary tools to prepare the burial location, burial might be the most cost-effective alternative. The availability of this option may not be available in all sections of the state. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health requires that the carcass be prepared as follows:

  • 5 feet above the high water level
  • 3 feet of earth covering the entire structure
  • If the soils are more than ten feet away from the bedrock

Groundwater pollution can be avoided if these standards are strictly followed. There should be enough soil cover around the carcass to keep burrowing, digging, or scavenging animals from getting to it and to prevent erosion from taking place. Breaking the ground for a burial over the winter months may be difficult, if not impossible, until the following spring. Creating and maintaining a compost pile for horse carcasses Examine the regulations in your state regarding the disposal of cattle carcasses.

  1. The final result of carcass composting can be used as a soil amendment in agricultural areas or flower gardens.
  2. A burn pile on the site will not achieve complete combustion and is thus not permitted.
  3. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is in charge of administration in the state.
  4. Central Bi-Products Company and Darling International, Inc.
  5. The University of Minnesota does not promote these rendering firms, but it does want to give horse owners with choices for legally disposing of their animals’ carcasses.
  6. Fur farms are prohibited from accepting animals that have been chemically killed since the solution may be harmful to their animals.
  7. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Pollution Control Agency (PCA), and the Board of Animal Health are all involved in the regulation of these alternatives in the state of Minnesota (BAH).

the University of Minnesota Extension equine specialist Krishona Martinson and Julie Wilson, DVM, formerly of the University of Minnesota Extension equine specialist In 2021, the situation will be reviewed.

How to Dispose of Horse Remains

When you own horses, one of the unpleasant lessons you must learn is what to do in the event that your horse passes away. Because of the danger to groundwater and other animals, it is not possible to just bury a dead horse wherever. The disposition of deceased animals is regulated by legislation in the majority of states. Oklahoma Statute 35, Section 17-3-17, offers recommendations for the proper disposal of cattle remains in accordance with the law.

Oklahoma 35, � 17-3-17 Carcass Disposal

A carcass disposal plan developed by the owner and approved by the Department must be followed in order to reduce the possibility of disease spread, reduce odors, and prevent contaminationof ground and surface waters in the state. (a) Dead animals must be disposed of in accordance with a carcass disposal plan developed by the owner and approved by the Department. Dead animals must be disposed of appropriately and in an ecologically safe way, in compliance with any federal, state, and municipal regulations and criteria.

When a major disease outbreak or other emergency results in deaths that are significantly higher than usual mortality rates, the plan must include provisions for disposal of carcasses associated with normal mortality.

Accepted methods of carcass disposal include the following:

  1. The owner is responsible for obtaining a contract with a rendering service that ensures that all corpses are disposed of within a reasonable amount of time. It is necessary to include the name, address, and telephone number of the company providing the rendering service. It is also necessary to give information on the frequency and timetable of corpse pickup. In accordance with an OAP and PMP authorized by the Department, storage facilities should be sealed or equipped with lids and maintained so as to prevent pests and smells from accumulating. Animals weighing 300 pounds or more are exempt from the requirement for sealed storage facilities, but the avoidance of pests and smells must be handled by an OAP and PMP certified by the Department of Agriculture.
  1. To ensure that all carcasses are properly disposed of within a reasonable length of time, the owner should get into a contract with a rendering company. It is necessary to supply the name, address, and telephone number of the service provider. It is also necessary to give information on the frequency and timetable of corpse pickup. A Department-approved OAP and PMP must be used to maintain storage facilities, which must be sealed or equipped with lids in order to prevent pests and smells from accumulating. Animals weighing 300 pounds or more are exempt from the requirement for sealed storage facilities, however the control of pests and smells must be handled by an OAP and PMP certified by the Department of Agriculture
  1. When composting is listed as a method of disposal, prior permission by the Department is necessary
  2. The Department may require another form of carcass disposal other than composting if the Department considers that there is a more practicable and effective means of carcass disposal available.

Animal feeding operations that have a valid air quality permit from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division are permitted to employ incineration as a method of corpse disposal.

Equine Euthanasia Programs:

Center for Veterinary Health Services, Oklahoma State UniversityCollege of Veterinary MedicineStillwater, OK 7407845-744-7000

Equine Crematory Services:

Pet Cremation from Ashes to Ashes (serves the Continental U.S.) Pomerroy, Iowa 50575712-358-2600 22331 590th StreetPomeroy, Iowa 50575712-358-2600 Located at 654, E. King Street, Memorial Pet Care (which serves the entire continental United States). Meridian, ID 83642208-887-7669 208-887-7669 Preston Cemetery and Crematory5520 North Spencer RoadSpencer, OK 73084405-771-5510Precious Pets Cemetery and Crematory Darling International, Inc.915 N. 5th StreetP. O. Box 86Collinsville, OK 74021918-371-2528Darling International, Inc.915 N.


Calumet RoadCalumet, OK 73014405-262-2923

Landfills that Accept Equine Carcasses:

Equine corpses are accepted at some Waste Management facilities, but not all of them. * In order to determine if your local Waste Management facility would accept horse corpses, please call them at the following number: 800-963-4776

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