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Fresno, Tulare Counties Declare Local Emergencies After Dead Livestock Accumulate Due To Heatwave

Joe Moore (file photo)
Valley Public Radio
Due to the latest heatwave in the San Joaquin Valley, livestock carcasses are accumulating. However, one of the few rendering plants was at it's processing capacity last week, forcing it to stop collecting cow and other livestock carcasses.

Fresno and Tulare Counties declared local emergencies Thursday after rendering plant Baker Commodities in Kerman stopped accepting livestock carcasses. 

Jimmy Andreoli, a spokesman with the company, says it has reached its limit in how many animals it can process according to its permit with the state Air Resources Board. If it surpasses that limit, it could be fined. 

Christopher Greer, the assistant agricultural commissioner in Tulare County says the summer heat kills more cows.  

“As the high heat, and often in the summer months, and as it’s been for many many years past, there’s an increase in cow mortality and animal mortality,” explains Greer.

Greer says any farmers with dead animals should call the county agricultural office, and for now, let them decompose on their property.

“Then within about three months to six months or so, our office and or RMA [resource management agency] will be contacting them to schedule that transport of the compost carcasses to the approved landfill in Tulare County,” says Greer. At the moment, there are no Tulare County landfills that accept whole livestock carcasses. 

Fresno County declared a similar emergency when Baker stopped operating in February due to repairs.


Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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