Dairy cow carcasses pile up following California heat wave

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Officials say Central California's largest rendering plant has been overwhelmed by the large number of cows that died during a June heat wave.

Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties are allowing dairy farmers to bury or compost hundreds of carcasses because Baker Commodities in Kerman can't handle the volume of dead animals.

The unusual run of June heat - including nine straight days of triple-digit high temperatures - and a mechanical malfunction at the plant have contributed to the overload.

The Fresno Bee reported Friday that because of the excess carcasses, Baker stopped picking up from local farms, leaving farmers without a place to send their dead animals.

The burials or composting must be done under a strict set of temporary rules outlined by state water and agricultural agencies.

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