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  1. #21
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    Apr. 26, 2000
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    We've been very fortunate in that we have been able to bury at home and the backhoe guy lives 2 farms up the road (5 minute drive in the backhoe).

    Ages ago we leased an 80 acre farm. The owner didn't mind having horses buried there & there was plenty of space, but it was quite pricey to get the back hoe guy out as he had to haul the equipment in. There was a "knacker" you could call but that, too, wasn't cheap ($100, 20 years ago).

    Last year, our friend who owns several stock yards told us of a man who wanted to sell a VERY aged horse that was rather sick & should have just been put down at home. The seller had 0 money to have the horse put down & hole dug, etc., so he brought it to auction. Our pal told him not to run the horse through the auction as he felt certain it would be a no sale and he'd still have the horse & the auction fees. Gave him the name of some people who might be able to help him out and commented off handedly in their conversation that the state was the only free p/u for dead livestock if it was killed on the highway, etc. Guy took horse home. A few weeks later our friend hears through the grapevine that horse died shortly after leaving the auction; the owner somehow managed to get horse out to the highway and leave the carcass on the side of the blacktop. State came and hauled it away just like it would a dead deer or moose.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of the rendering situation at the turn of the century vs. now. I am remembering various photos of carriage horses, etc. dead in the streets of major cities. I've never really thought much about it given our situation, but the whole holster thread got me thinking...this is good info to share as I would guess most horse owners don't have the burying option...and leaving dead animals on the side of the highway is just rude & tacky.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Here, with some 100 feedlots within 100 miles, there is a "dead wagon" truck coming by daily.
    When some cattle die, they are taken to the barditch by the gate and they pick them there within a day.

    Those same rendering companies would pick up horses, then for some reason they didn't for two years, dead horses had to go to landfills and landfills were not happy with that, set daily limits to accept dead horses, you had to call and see if you still could send a horse that day, as per our vets.

    The past year rendering plants are again accepting horses, but you have to pay $100 for pickup now.

    I think the problem was that the old process they used to render chemically euthanized horse's meat usable was discontinued and for some time they had no way to use it and now either the amount they charge makes up for the waste or helps with a less efficient process.
    Those details are proprietary information for their business, so no one really knows.

    The rendering plants are heavily regulated and inspected, because the chance of some dead animal they picked may have some transmissible disease.
    They need to protect the workers and public from such possibility, it could be rabies, anthrax, who knows what.

    Here, we have some water veins at 7'-8', although most of our usable water is from 80' to 500'+.
    Any burying is strongly discouraged, as some wells have been easily contaminated from doing just that.

    Some horse owners still choose to bury, regardless of the possible consequences.
    What is more important, that your water sources are safe for you and your animals, or that your horse be buried?
    Doesn't make much sense.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    3,280

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    In Virginia we used Valley Proteins, which picked up for free. They used to make the rounds to pick up carcasses, hides, and cooking fat/grease from restaurants.

    I understand in more recent times they now charge for the privilege, don't know what their 'service area' is these days.

    In Utah the renderer used to be in Provo and my OTTB went there after euthanasia by the vet (Did have to pay a nominal pickup fee). But the locals complained long and loud about the smell as the area grew in population, and they moved down state. I think they do still have a pickup service but much less frequently, after all they have plenty of resource in the rural area where they've relocated.

    What the original question doesn't cover of course is, what do you do if your horse unfortunately dies on public land. Answer depends on the land management agency. I think you are okay on BLM land with just leaving it (of course you'd have to get the deceased of a trail if applicable). But Forest Service does not allow burial and requires dispersal of remains. If you've never actually butchered a large animal you might not know just how long that can take (even with proper butchering equipmenton hand)...

    Ironically, while it's illegal to bury a horses in these parts lest you contaminate the groundwater, it's legal to dump them at the landfill (maybe it's lined to prevent groundwater contamination, but I kinda doubt it). And there is a woman who will pick up and take to landfill but I believe she charges a couple of hundred bucks for the privilege.

    I suppose, just idle speculation mind you, that a cooperative vet and a willing landowner and a handy backhoe allows one to employ the SSS approach in my area.
    The charge in Virginia depends on location, but in NVa it had gone up to about $250 for just the pickup and disposal.
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  4. #24
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    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    "Quiet Animal Removal" Seattle area, one of the drivers will take the horse live and shoot it. He is a very kind man, and the horses like him but I do not feel free to post his name because of the animal rights fanatics interference in these matters. His willingness has been a godsend to those who do not have the $300 removal fee, and of course those rescues who do take in horses that need euthanizing. Plus, the horse is not all full of sedatives and possibly polluting up the ground water, a very big deal if you like clean, safe water and why it is becoming illegal in some areas to bury an animal that big.
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt


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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
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    We are very fortunate at my boarding barn. Lots of land and BO has a backhoe. Shhhhhh, though.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by arabhorse2 View Post
    I'd actually be very interested to find a company that does this around the Lynchburg, VA area. The closest Valley Proteins to me who will come get a carcass is almost 100 miles away, and I know that can't be cost effective.
    There was a rendering plant off of 460 near the landfill - thankfully only had to go there one time. Can't remember the name of it though - are they closed now?



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2012
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    97

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    I know in our area of Canada we have a zoo that will come, put your horse down, and haul the body away to be used as food for the big cats/bears. They do have med guidelines that need to be followed but its a great solution if you have an older horse who's best days are behind them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2004
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    Rolling hills of Virginny
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnKShowmom View Post
    There was a rendering plant off of 460 near the landfill - thankfully only had to go there one time. Can't remember the name of it though - are they closed now?
    Valley Proteins is the one I believe you're thinking about. They're still listed as a business in Lynchburg. I'm going to call them and find out if they're still picking up horse carcasses for rendering.

    I don't have any need of their services right at the moment, but it's best to plan ahead. I have a 27 y/o who's starting to go downhill, and I don't want to wait until it's an emergency to make a decision.

    I buried my heart horse on the property, but I'm concerned about burying the other 3 when their times come. I'd rather not take a chance on contaminating the ground water.
    The plural of anecdote is not data.



  9. #29
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    Apr. 2, 2008
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    Virginia
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    Took me a while, but I was thinking of Kavanaughs - it was a turn off the road that takes you to Lower Basin. Maybe Valley Proteins bought them out and closed the plant?

    I have one who is day to day also but he will be buried on the farm - as stubborn as he is, this may be years from now!



  10. #30
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    Feb. 8, 2004
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    Rolling hills of Virginny
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    Could be, since I haven't seen Kavanaughs listed as a renderer anywhere. There's a Valley Proteins right off 460, so that may be the original plant.

    I buried one, but I'm having a really hard time justifying burying any more than that. My Great Dane will be buried on the farm, but she's a lot smaller than a horse.
    The plural of anecdote is not data.



  11. #31
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    Feb. 18, 2012
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    knee deep in Oregon mud
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    Not much in the way of renderers in my neck of the woods, but we do have a couple options. Dave at Omega Farms http://www.omega-farms.com/ will come get the body and bury it on his property, or you can schedule the euthanasia there. Wildlife Safari (a game park about an hour south of where I am) feeds their big cats horse meat. You haul your horse to them and they are euthed by bullet.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Here, with some 100 feedlots within 100 miles, there is a "dead wagon" truck coming by daily.
    When some cattle die, they are taken to the barditch by the gate and they pick them there within a day.

    Those same rendering companies would pick up horses, then for some reason they didn't for two years, dead horses had to go to landfills and landfills were not happy with that, set daily limits to accept dead horses, you had to call and see if you still could send a horse that day, as per our vets.

    The past year rendering plants are again accepting horses, but you have to pay $100 for pickup now.

    I think the problem was that the old process they used to render chemically euthanized horse's meat usable was discontinued and for some time they had no way to use it and now either the amount they charge makes up for the waste or helps with a less efficient process.
    Those details are proprietary information for their business, so no one really knows.

    The rendering plants are heavily regulated and inspected, because the chance of some dead animal they picked may have some transmissible disease.
    They need to protect the workers and public from such possibility, it could be rabies, anthrax, who knows what.

    Here, we have some water veins at 7'-8', although most of our usable water is from 80' to 500'+.
    Any burying is strongly discouraged, as some wells have been easily contaminated from doing just that.

    Some horse owners still choose to bury, regardless of the possible consequences.
    What is more important, that your water sources are safe for you and your animals, or that your horse be buried?
    Doesn't make much sense.
    Stupid question time: How far do you need to be from a waterway or well for it to be safe? I have a hard time believing that about a pint of euth fluid, diffused throughout a thousand-pound carcass which decays very slowly over 10 or so years buried at 10 feet or thereabouts would be much of a pollution problem. Could this be more of a public perception "ick factor?" Has anyone actually done any research?



  13. #33
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    I don't know about "safe". I do know from groundwater studies where I live that groundwater plumes can be traced back to a source. In my area it's usually failed septic systems - we have a high water table and old houses that were built before people really understood water quality. Today those houses could not be built.

    I'm not sure there is any immediate danger to the public from euthanized carcasses - I know that we had a bit of a scare when my neighbors wellhead was destroyed by an out of control car - and the antifreeze soaked into the ground around the destroyed well head and casing. The water was tested and no antifreeze found so we dodged a bullet. The trouble is, I think, that such substances cannot be removed from well water - and as more and more such substances percolate through the ground - it starts piling up. So maybe the answer is that while one euthanized carcass does not pose any danger, maybe thousands of carcasses do, along with the toxic substances poured down toilets and sinks, oil, antifreeze, paint, runoff from paved roads or parking lots, medication, failed septic systems, ag runoff - eventually all that stuff percolates down to the water many of us drink.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


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  14. #34
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Stupid question time: How far do you need to be from a waterway or well for it to be safe? I have a hard time believing that about a pint of euth fluid, diffused throughout a thousand-pound carcass which decays very slowly over 10 or so years buried at 10 feet or thereabouts would be much of a pollution problem. Could this be more of a public perception "ick factor?" Has anyone actually done any research?
    It is not only the euthanizing chemicals, but the whole of 1000+ lbs of organic material decomposing under there, then water percolating carrying that to water sources.

    Years ago, a friend bought a house and they kept getting sick and when they tested the well, they found that problem.
    They spent plenty trying to clean the well, using approved methods, but not knowing where the contamination was coming from, they could not really fix the problem and cleaning the well regularly didn't work for long.
    Finally they had to move far from the house and drill a second well and pipe that to the house.



  15. #35
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    Oct. 25, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    It is not only the euthanizing chemicals, but the whole of 1000+ lbs of organic material decomposing under there, then water percolating carrying that to water sources.

    Years ago, a friend bought a house and they kept getting sick and when they tested the well, they found that problem.
    They spent plenty trying to clean the well, using approved methods, but not knowing where the contamination was coming from, they could not really fix the problem and cleaning the well regularly didn't work for long.
    Finally they had to move far from the house and drill a second well and pipe that to the house.
    The situation I've heard about is usually caused by old houses with in-ground oil tanks that rot out, occasioning hundreds of gallons of oil getting into soil and water, which is usually good for about 80 grand worth of g-ment mandated remediation from the clean-suit guys. Also, old houses with a septic tank or cesspool too close to their well.

    What scares me is thousands and thousands of people flushing pharma products like hormones down the toilet--in thousands of septic tanks upstream on the water table. Living in major ag areas with a lot of pesticide runoff must also be scary. I can see where burying a lot of carcasses could create a problem.



  16. #36
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    The situation I've heard about is usually caused by old houses with in-ground oil tanks that rot out, occasioning hundreds of gallons of oil getting into soil and water, which is usually good for about 80 grand worth of g-ment mandated remediation from the clean-suit guys. Also, old houses with a septic tank or cesspool too close to their well.

    What scares me is thousands and thousands of people flushing pharma products like hormones down the toilet--in thousands of septic tanks upstream on the water table. Living in major ag areas with a lot of pesticide runoff must also be scary. I can see where burying a lot of carcasses could create a problem.
    For some years now, more than half of the chemicals sold by companies that produce pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other such products are for residential and commercial uses in parks, golf courses, highways and people's yards.
    Seems that such doesn't come so much from some farming practices any more.
    Also, farming today has reduced chemical uses extensively with modern methods of farming, although some of them, like no tillage, do at times require more herbicides.

    Our yard itself is almost half pavers and gravel beds, in the front of it, the rest still grass.
    More and more here are going to, at least in the front of houses, hardscape, not grass landscaping.

    I think we are all slowly learning and giving up burying bodies is part of it.


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  17. #37
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Western South Dakota
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    Also check with Wildlife Sanctuaries, Zoos and Kennels. Many of them appreciate the carcass for the animals, but they do need to be euthed by bullet.



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