New AR Regulations Allow Composting

JUNE 23, 2004 -- Posted at 5:46 PM CDT

LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- Arkansans can now use an age-old method to dispose the carcasses of large animals. New state regulations allow dead cattle, horses and other animals to be composted.

Before, dead livestock had to be rendered, buried or burned.

State Veterinarian Paul Norris says one reason for making the change is because of ``downers,'' or cattle too injured or sick to walk. Those animals are no longer accepted at rendering plants or slaughter facilities for fear of mad cow disease.

Previously, large-animal producers had to go through the time-consuming and messy process of reducing an animal often weighing close to a ton into smaller pieces.

But researchers for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service developed a method considered environmentally friendly, inexpensive and convenient.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)