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Landfill opens for cattle carcasses

Valley-wide heat waves resulting in higher mortality rates among cattle and mechanical issues at the rendering facility in Kerman have prompted several area counties to declare states of emergencies that would allow for disposal of carcasses in ways other than transporting them to the rendering facility.

While Madera County has not seen higher cattle deaths that would qualify for an emergency, its landfill in Fairmead is permitted by the State Water Board and Cal Recycle to accept carcasses for disposal, according to general manager Alan Davis of Caglia Environmental, the county’s landfill operator.

“We hope to assist our neighboring counties through this crisis,” said county administrative officer Eric Fleming, “by allowing immediate disposal of these carcasses at our Madera County landfill.”

The landfill is prepared to start taking carcasses for disposal immediately, Davis said, adding that ranchers can call the landfill directly at 665-7300 to schedule an appointment.

“They can bring the carcasses to the landfill,” Davis said, “or we could pick them up. We have that capability.”

It is not uncommon for dairy operators to lose a couple cattle a week in the summer months. According to an article in the Business Journal, rendering plant transportation of carcasses has increased by about 2,000 a week. The mechanical problems, the Journal noted, are due to the increase in processing, about 1.5 million pounds per day which is half a million more than usual.

Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties called special meetings of their Board of Supervisors to declare states of emergency due to the increased cattle deaths.

For information, call Ahmad Alkhayyat, director of public works, at 536-6496.

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