The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria

January 26, 2011 03:01 ET

Pet Cremation Fraud-Pet Crematorium Association Calls For Pet Owners To Beware

CARLISLE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2011) - The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) are calling for owners to exercise caution when arranging pet cremations. This follows the recent guilty plea by the owner of a pet crematorium service to charges of fraud after claiming to cremate six pets later found dumped in a field.

Kevin Spurgeon, a Director of the APPCC, attended the court hearing in Derby on 18 January and afterwards said

"This case highlights the fact that owners need to be cautious when they arrange a pet cremation. Our members adhere to a strict code of practice to ensure cremations are carried out properly. Unfortunately we have no control over others and it is sickening to think that someone has abused the trust of these grieving pet owners." 

The APPCC has developed a Charter for Pet Bereavement Services that accurately describes the different pet cremation services on offer. The Charter can be applied even where a veterinary practice uses a pet crematorium that is not an Association member. They have also set up a new web site aimed at veterinary professionals but accessible to anyone with an interest. The site covers the procedures for a genuine pet cremation and advises on assessing a pet crematorium.

The Vice-Chairman of the Association, Stephen Mayles, explains the current problems

"The majority of pet owners trust their veterinary surgery to make all the arrangements with the pet crematorium. What they do not realise is the cremation service is completely unregulated. A pet crematorium is licensed as a waste facility and the only checks are from that point of view. Many veterinary practices still believe all pet crematoriums are the same and happily sell their clients cremation services from the one that gives the surgery the best deal. This often incorporates the collection of their clinical and hazardous waste. They do not necessarily investigate the procedures at the pet crematorium and even if they do their ideas may be very different to those of their clients"

The APPCC would like pet owners to take a more active part in arranging the cremations for their pets. Stephen goes on to explain

"The present situation is very confusing for pet owners. There are many pet crematoriums operating and most look very appealing in their literature. However many of the cremation methods do not match the pet owners' expectations. We urge people who would like a pet cremation, as opposed to a simple disposal, to contact the pet crematorium directly and not necessarily use the service their vet may be contracted to. If the pet owner is not satisfied with the details of the facility's procedures then they should try somewhere else. Our members perform individual pet cremations in the same way you would expect a human cremation to be carried out. Not every owner will necessarily want that but they should all be getting the service they pay for. In the fraud case, if the owners had been given the opportunity to make checks on the pet crematorium they might have been spared the heartache they have endured"

The APPCC are contacting the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as well as the Veterinary Associations to try to get agreement on the way pet cremations are assessed and sold through veterinary surgeries.

For further information on pet cremation see http://www.appcc.org.uk.

For details of the Veterinary Information Site go to http://petcremationcodeforvets.org.

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