The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria

September 30, 2010 03:00 ET

Pet Cremation-The Truth About Remains Going to Landfill

CARLISLE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) - When pet owners are told their pets are going to be sent for communal, group or routine pet cremation the vast majority of the incinerated remains end up at a normal landfill site. This fact is often hidden from pet owners who choose these services through their veterinary practice. A recent article in the Highland News has highlighted this practice and describes a couple who were distressed to discover the remains of their Samoyed dog had been sent to landfill after a routine cremation.

The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria wants Veterinary Associations to introduce a Code for their members to ensure pet owners are given the correct information about the way their pets' bodies will be handled. Stephen Mayles, a Director of the Association explains

"Most people associate the term cremation with the service for humans. If any other service is provided it must be correctly described. Our Association has a very simple Code. If people choose an individual cremation the pet will be cremated entirely on its own. For a communal cremation the pet will be cremated with others but the remains will be placed or scattered in a proper memorial area. When the pets are simply incinerated and the ashes go off to a general landfill site this is termed a disposal. If veterinary surgeries sell services on this basis then pet owners have a clear choice."

The Association believes very few veterinary surgeries take the trouble to investigate pet cremation services and leave themselves open to criticism for the handling of pets after their deaths. Stephen explains

"Many veterinary surgeries seem to believe all pet crematoriums are the same. They will choose one based on them taking away all the clinical and offensive waste with the pets' bodies and also giving the practice a high mark up for selling the so-called cremation services. We believe owners who choose a cremation do not want their pets being associated with normal waste. There seems to be a view that what people don't know can't hurt them. Our Code of Practice is designed to protect pet owners who want a cremation rather than provide the most profit for the businesses involved. It is sad that these standards are not adopted by the majority of veterinary practices. We want to help Veterinary Associations draw up guidelines for their members to ensure services are properly sold"

Although veterinary practices may be contracted to disposal companies the pet owner has no obligation to use these services. The Association states that until there is more control over the selling of pet cremations people should question the procedures used and if necessary make arrangements directly with a reputable pet crematorium.

The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria sets standards for pet loss facilities that protect the pet owner and ensure their pet is handled they way they expect. The membership is made up of genuine pet cemeteries and & crematoriums as well as pet undertakers and quality product suppliers.

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