The MPCA solid waste and feedlot programs provided assistance and resources requested for avian flu epidemic clean-up and disposal during the 2015 outbreak in Minnesota. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) has the lead role in dealing with livestock emergency response cases and carcass disposal. In cases “where disposal may adversely affect ground or surface water, (the BAH) shall seek the input of PCA” (M.S. 35.815). The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide state and federal responses.
An MPCA emergency response team, led by the Emergency Management Unit, includes staff from solid waste, feedlot, communications, and operations programs. The team provides resources for the state response team and other affected partners, such as landfill operators, county feedlot staff, and the livestock industry.
Key issues include disposal of carcasses, cleaning solutions, and related waste such as protective clothing and demolition debris. Millions of poultry have been destroyed, and composting is the primary means of carcass disposal. Feedlot rules help to ensure proper management of stockpiling and land application of the finished compost.
Resources for clean-up and disposal
- Letter and information regarding managing wastes from farms affected by the Avian Influenza, March 2017 (w-sw5-51)
- Minnesota landfills that accept mixed municipal solid waste
- Toolbox: Recovering from a natural disaster
Composting and land application
- Carcass composting steps (Board of Animal Health)
- Disposal of poultry carcasses - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (BAH)
- Poultry mortality composting site selection
- Land Application of Manure: Minimum State Requirements
- Memorandum of Understanding: Disposal of livestock carcasses resulting from disaster
- Avian influenza (Board of Animal Health)
- Daily briefing archive for 2015 avian flu incident
- Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management news releases
- USDA-APHIS bird bio-security publications
- County Feedlot Officer Toolbox: Carcass disposal practices
To prevent further spread of the virus, workers must be aware of the importance of where they walk and drive and take necessary steps to thoroughly clean and disinfect themselves and their vehicles. The virus transfers via feces and survives in manure for extended periods of time. Contamination of trucks, equipment, footwear, and clothing with bird feces can spread the virus. (Map: Counties affected during 2015 outbreak)
Instructions for transport drivers and others entering a farm or production facility:
- Arrive at work wearing clean clothes and footwear that hasn’t been worn around livestock.
- Carry and use cover-ups (clean, disinfected rubber boots or disposable boots) in a clean container in the truck cab.
- Stay as close to the truck as possible.
- Stay on your side of the Line of Separation between you or your equipment and the production facilities. Whenever possible, ask farm staff to open and close the bin lids.
- Remove cover-ups when back in the truck; contain and dispose of garbage in a separate bag or plastic container.
- Use hand sanitizer in the cab before touching surfaces.
- Do not cross the Line of Separation between production facilities and you or your equipment. This includes not entering the barn office or facilities. Leave invoices in a designated area, such as mailboxes attached to the bin leg or outside of the office.
- Drop bagged feed in a designated area, without crossing the Line of Separation.
More information is available from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.