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Disposal of equidae

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Owners of dead equidae should first consider disposal of the carcase via the normal route for animal by products (ABP).

Animal by products (ABP) information.

If this route is not available, owners can bury the animal subject to Natural Resources Wales and/or local authority controls. A permit is not required for the burial of a single carcass.

Natural Resources Wales are advising owners who are unable to dispose offsite, to use the following simple guidelines for burying dead stock.

Temporary storage

On site temporary storage of carcasses should be within the following locations:

  • within the dedicated area for storage for fallen stock
  • within a sealed container
  • on an impermeable surface or hard standing within a sealed area that minimises the volumes of contaminated drainage.

If the site is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) then you should contact your local Natural Resources Wales office before undertaking the burial. Natural Resource Wales staff will provide advice as a matter of priority.

Burial sites

The location and design of any burial sites should follow these simple guidelines.

Burials should not be:

  • in a groundwater source protection zone 1 (SPZ1) - further advice on the location of SPZ1 zones in your area can be found on the UK Government website
  • within 250m of any water supply used for human consumption or farm dairies - where necessary speak to your neighbours to see where their water supply comes from
  • within 50m of a sink hole when on limestone
  • be prone to surface water flooding.

Burials should:

  • be at least 30 metres from any spring or watercourse and at least 10 metres from any field drain
  • have at least one metre of subsoil below the bottom of the burial pit ensuring that all carcasses are covered with at least 1m of soil;
  • the bottom of the pit should be at least 1m above the water table and be free of standing water
  • following disposal of carcasses the burial pit should not be re-opened for further burials.

Where a burial will exceed 8 tonnes further advice should be sought from Natural Resources Wales. Please remember you must keep a record of the location of the site, with numbers/types of carcasses and inform your local authority. For further information or advice please call our Customer Services team on 0300 065 3000.

What you should do when an animal dies

  • You must return the passport for a dead animal to the (or “your”) passport issuing organisation within 30 days. (The passport may be returned to the owner once the process is completed if requested).
  • Should the animal be part of the semi-feral pony derogation in Wales, and has a passport, the above same rules apply. Any reduction in numbers on the hill/common should be recorded and included as part of the derogation management plan annual return.
  • If the animal meets the following requirements:
    • is included as part of the semi-feral pony derogation
    • does not have a passport and/or is not micro-chipped
    • is registered with the Hill Pony Improvement Society/Cymdeithas Merlod Carneddau
    • has remained on the common under the rules of the derogation
    it should be recorded as dead on the society register. The reduction in numbers on the hill/common should be recorded and included as part of the derogation management plan annual return.