Animal Carcass Risk in Natural Disasters

Comment on this policy

Consistent with current scientific literature and the conclusions of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the AVMA recognizes that animals that die from injuries, including massive animal deaths in cases of natural disasters, generally do not represent a health hazard for humans. The presence of dead bodies that result from a disaster, without the presence of another risk factor, is not the cause for the spread of infectious diseases. (1PAHO Manual, Ch 3, Conclusions; p. 81)

1 Management of Dead Bodies in Disaster Situations, Disaster Manuals and Guidelines Series, number 5. Pan American Health Organization, Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, and the World Health Organization, Department for Health Action in Crisis. Washington, DC, 2004.

​Relevant AVMA Policy:

Appropriate Animal Carcass Disposal