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Emergency livestock disposal sites sought

MANHATTAN, Kan., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Kansas State University scientists are helping find appropriate sites for a potential emergency disposal of a large number of livestock carcasses.

The researchers, using Geographic Information Systems technology, are collaborating with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to find sites that would be used in the event of a disease outbreak or bioterrorism attack.

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Assistant Professor Shawn Hutchinson, Professor John Harrington and graduate student Lori Emerson are engaged in the project.

Hutchinson said potential burial sites must meet specific criteria to minimize future environmental problems related to the burial. Consideration must also be paid to such factors as soil type and quality, topographical slope and human population density.

"We have a pretty good idea of the environmental conditions that would be best and worst for carcass disposal," he said. "We don't want to contaminate water resources; sites would preferably be far from population centers; and sites must not compound other problems, such as the viability of threatened and endangered species."

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