Governments, producers faced with disposing cattle carcasses |

Governments, producers faced with disposing cattle carcasses

LAMAR ” Health officials in four southeastern counties say they need help disposing of the carcasses of thousands of cattle killed by the blizzard.

“You can get some real nuisance problems with dead animal disposal with respect to varmints like coyotes getting into them, odor problems and possibly water-quality issues,” said Virgil Cochran of Southeastern Land and Environment.

The counties are Baca, Bent, Prowers and Kiowa.

Cochran of Southeastern Land and Environment said dead animals that are not disposed of properly can create both public nuisances and environmental risks. Nitrates from dead animals can get into water supply if they animals are not safely removed.

State officials and regional rendering companies are working with the Colorado Livestock Association on a plan to allow producers to dispose of dead animals at a reduced cost to rendering companies.

The damage to roads could slow the effort. Officials are still working on estimating how many thousand cattle died.

Officials say animals must be buried by at least two feet of dirt and at least 150 feet downhill from a groundwater supply source. They should be at least one mile from any homes.

“We try to keep people from burying near waterways and shallow groundwater,” Cochran said. “If they don’t have proper burial sites on their own land, we will try to help them find an alternative location.”

The good news is the continued cold weather is giving producers more time to get the job done.

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