If you keep animals and they die, state animal health experts will examine the remains and report on the cause of death. For a cow, pig or rabbit, the state laboratory charge is about $120. For small pets, the fee is higher, nearly $195 for rodents such as hamsters and gerbils and $495 for cats and dogs. But for a chicken or duck, the autopsy is free.
The little-known program is increasingly popular, the California Animal Health and Food Safety lab reports in the current October-December issue of California Agriculture, a University of California journal. One or two birds may be submitted for a free necropsy (the term for a nonhuman autopsy) by owners of backyard poultry: chickens, turkeys, waterfowl or other birds raised for food. Read More