Pet Cremation in a nutshell

Thank you for following this twitter link – it is an indication of just how much you care about your pets, and also that you are prepared to research the whole range of pet services that are available to pet owners.

I believe that the following information will have a significant impact on difficult decisions you will inevitably face following the loss of a much loved pet, and although upsetting to consider now it will enable you to make an informed decision about what will happen when your pet dies and who will be entrusted to carry out its cremation – all well ahead of time.
Most Veterinarians will offer to arrange your pet’s cremation for you, and since this is a distress purchase most pet owners will be happy to allow their Vet to make this arrangement, believing them to be acting in their client’s best interests.

This is not necessarily the case:

  • Most Veterinarians act as a “Broker” for the Pet Disposal Industry (which is unregulated)

  • As a “Broker” the Practice will charge their client a “built in” Arrangement Fee. In the case of an “Individual” cremation this will be more than three times the cost they are charged by their disposal service provider. A 166% mark up is not unusual.

  • The Industry also carries out the disposal of all the Clinical & Surgical waste generated by the practice during the week.

  • Cremations are carried out remotely, often outside the county of origin.

  • Collections are usually made weekly. This makes it necessary for the practice to routinely freeze a pet’s remains along with surgical/clinical waste often in the same freezer.

Consider these statistics:

  • There are well over 20 million household companion animals in the UK.

  • Of those requiring cremation after death, most will be arranged by a Veterinarian on behalf of a client.

  • Most pet owners are unaware that there are alternative cremation providers.

  • There are only 30 APPCC approved Private Pet Cremation services in the UK. These are generally family run small businesses who believe that a Pet is a family member and deserves the same dignity & respect afforded any deceased family member.

  • The APPCC (Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria) is the self regulating body that sets the performance standards for its 30 members. Principally an APPCC member will guarantee that a pet will be cremated alone in a machine designed for this purpose meeting all EU and DEFRA regulations and that 100% of the animals uncontaminated remains will be available to its family within 48hrs.

The APPCC continue discussions with The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons & the British Veterinary Association regarding Pet Cremation, Pet Disposal, the Industry and the Private Pet Cremation Sector and make the following recommendations.

  1. When offering to arrange a Pet’s cremation on behalf of a client, a Veterinarian should make it clear that there are alternative Pet Cremation Providers.

  2. Vets should be explaining to owners that they can take their pet away / use another cremation service if they wish. Vets not doing so can be reported to the associations professional conduct department.

  3. When billing a client for an arranged cremation it should be clear how much the practice is being charged by the cremation provider and how much the client is being charged by the practice for arranging the cremation.

  4. It should also be made very clear how a pet is being stored while it awaits collection, where it will be going and when it will be returned. Vets should carry out “due diligence” before offering a pet cremation service.

A Pet’s Cremation is a “Buyer Beware ” “Distress” purchase. Until pet owners exercise informed choices about who carries out their pets cremation the Industry will remain Vet driven.