This is sadly something many of us deal with in our lives, but we probably don't ask ourselves this question a lot. The short answer to the question "Can You Legally Bury Your Dead Pet In The Backyard In Wisconsin" is actually a maybe. With much more limits and guidelines compared to other states that you need to follow, Wisconsin makes it harder to bury a pet.

I had a bit of trouble finding an official rule, and law for Wisconsin at first, compared to Iowa and Illinois the law was a bit harder to wrap my head around. The two nearby states have very straightforward laws.

Who would have thought Wisconsin would have been the one with all the rules?!

Illinois

In short, the law is as follows:

By law the burial must be on the premises owned and operated by the owner of the dead animal. Producers must ensure appropriate burial depth as well as distance from streams, potable water supplies and residences and all other rules found in the Illinois Dead Animal Disposal Act Section 90.110, On-The-Farm Disposal.

Iowa

Less strict than Illinois, the state requires the disposal of any dead animal within 24 hours of its death. Other rules are as follows:

The disposal can be by composting, cooking, burying, or burning or by disposing of it to a person licensed for disposal of animals.

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Wisconsin's Law

Wisconsin has a few different laws when it comes to animal "disposal." The first thing to note is Wisconsin like the other two states has a 24-hour rule,

No person who owns or controls a carcass, or who owns or controls the land on which a carcass is located, may leave the carcass exposed to access by dogs or wild animals for more than 24 hours during the months of April to November or for more than 48 hours during the months of December to March if the person knows or reasonably should know that the carcass is exposed.

Wisconsin also highlights the fear of diseased animals many times. Stating in one part,

Regulation of carcass transportation and disposal. The department may, by rule or order, regulate the transportation and disposal of carcasses to prevent and control contagious and infectious diseases.

So they can look case by case. Wisconsin's law seems to focus more on what you can't do with dead animals.

Carcass transportation and disposal prohibitions. No person may do any of the following, either directly or through an employee or agent:

(a) Transport or dispose of a carcass that the person knows or reasonably should know to be a diseased carcass in a manner that creates a significant and foreseeable risk of transmitting disease to humans or animals.
(b) Dispose of a carcass in the waters of the state. This paragraph does not prohibit the use of farm-raised fish as bait.
Again, who would have thought Wisconsin would have been the one with all the rules? So while it is technically legal to bury your pet, pet burial is actually not allowed in some counties of Wisconsin, so your best bet is to seek advice from your local veterinarian on your city’s rules if you live in Wisconsin. You can learn more here.

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