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Alabama passes law to allow new, safer ways of disposing dead livestock

On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation to give farmers and ranchers more leeway in how they dispose of dead livestock.

SB202 is sponsored by State Senator Josh Carnley (R-Ino). The legislation was carried in the Alabama House of Representatives by State Representative Matt Hammett (R-Dozier).

“Senate Bill 202 deals with the disposal methods of deceased livestock,” explained Hammett. “This is a bill for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to update current related to the disposal of deceased livestock. The current law states that burning and burying are the only two accepted methods. New technologies such as composting and incineration have come about to assist livestock owners with proper disposal.

“This bill would allow the board of Agriculture and Industries to adopt rules for the disposing of dead animals,” said Hammett. “This bill doesn’t alter any penalty that is already in place.”

Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) asked, “Tell me what are they doing with the dead animals?”

“Right now, there is only two ways authorized to dispose of them burying and burning,” Hammett said. “Other things have come along in incineration and composting. This just gives the Department of Agriculture the authority to put rules in place.”

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“Is there a penalty?” Hall asked.

“Yes, if you don’t dispose of the animal within 24 hours it is a $50 fine and it’s a misdemeanor,” answered Hammett.

Rep. Roland Hollis (D-Birmingham) asked, “This is just adding options to it?”

“Yes Ma’am, this bill is only concerning livestock: cattle, horses, goats, and sheep,” said Hammett. “The law has not been updated since 1919. This is just giving the Department of Agriculture some more options.”

The House passed SB202 by a vote of 102 to 0.

“Is this the first bill that he has ever passed?” asked Speaker Pro Tem. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile).

“Yes,” Hammett said.

“Congratulations you handled that like a pro,” Pringle said.

The bill now goes to Governor Kay Ivey for her consideration and signature. Wednesday is Day 29 of the 2024 state legislative session.

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