Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This guidance is relevant if you have to burn dead animals on your land. For example, you may have an incinerator, or you may need to burn carcasses if there is a disease outbreak.
If you don't have an incinerator, see our guidance on disposing of carcasses
You must not burn any animal carcasses in the open. The only exceptions are during disease outbreaks or similar circumstances if you have authorisation from the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Scotland or DAERA in Northern Ireland. You must also contact your environmental regulator before you incinerate animal carcasses.
If you operate an on-farm incinerator that only burns whole carcasses, you must ensure the incinerator is approved by:
If you burn non-agricultural animal carcasses or parts of animal carcasses, your incinerator must be authorised by your local council or your environmental regulator, in addition to Animal Health or DAERA.
In Northern Ireland, if you operate a small-scale onsite incinerator for whole animal carcasses you must register an exemption from waste management licensing with NIEA.
In Scotland, you must not operate an animal carcass incinerator without consulting SEPA.
If you incinerate materials other than animal carcasses, eg meat, bone meal and tallow, or packaging waste, you may have to comply with waste incineration regulations. See our waste incineration guidance.
If you are authorised to burn carcasses you should take a number of steps to reduce your environmental impact.
Avoid producing dark smoke by:
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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