Dead stock disposal

Many stock die on Northland farms annually. Most die during the spring calving period.

If the resulting carcasses are not disposed of properly, they can pose environmental and health risks.

Rotting animals can contaminate streams and groundwater with disease causing bacteria. They also smell bad, attracting flies and other vermin.

Disposing of dead animals


  • Bury dead animals at least 50 metres away from any watercourse, water supply bore or home.
  • Adequately cover the burial site to prevent nuisance smells and access by vermin.
  • Remove dead animals from streams or watercourses for proper disposal.


  • Dump dead animals in streams or watercourses.
  • Use a gully as an uncovered disposal site.
  • Bury dead animals within 50 metres of any watercourse or home.
  • Burn dead animals.
  • Dump dead animals in your dairy effluent ponds.

The proper disposal of dead stock is covered by rules in our Regional Water and Soil Plan for Northland. Incorrect disposal that causes environmental or health risks may result in fines or prosecution.