Fallen stock (animal by-products)

Kent Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing legislation concerning the disposal of fallen stock (dead livestock) or animal by-products.

Animal by-products are defined as the entire bodies or parts of animals, products of animal origin or other products obtained from animals which are not intended for human consumption, including embryos and semen.

If livestock dies on your farm, it must be collected, identified and transported from your farm as soon as reasonably practical under the circumstances.

You must not burn or bury fallen stock on your farm, or allow wild birds or animals to have access to it. The burial or burning of fallen stock is banned to prevent the risk of spreading disease from residues in the soil, groundwater or air pollution.

If you suspect that an animal has died of a notifiable disease you must report this to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

For more information on animal by-products, visit GOV.UK.

There are some exemptions to this for pet horses.

Pet horses

The death of a pet horse can be an emotional and distressing time for owners. There is an exemption which allows pet horses to be buried on your private land, however to prevent the spread of animal borne pathogens or disease, there are very strict rules which must be followed. Burial is only permitted for pet horses if the following conditions are met:

  • You must own the land or obtain permission from the landowner.
  • Horses may only be buried if they are free from disease.
  • Burial sites must be at least 250m from any well, borehole or spring that supplies water for human consumption or water for use in farm dairies.
  • Burial sites must be at least 30m away from any other spring or watercourse and at least 10m from any field drain.
  • There should be at least 1m of subsoil below the bottom of any burial pit and at least 1m of soil covering the carcass to prevent access by foxes and other scavengers.
  • There should be no standing water at the bottom of the hole when you first dig it.
  • It may be helpful to include a record of any burial sites with the deeds for the land if you sell the property.

If you are unsure whether there are any watercourses on the land you intend to use for the burial you can get confirmation by contacting the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.

For more information see our further advice and guidance page.