The Code of Practice

dignity2APPCC members provide burial or cremation facilities for companion animals with the emphasis on a respectful, dignified and caring service. Pet owners can make arrangements directly with association members, or via approved agents. All cremation and burial services are carried out at members’ own facilities, or may be referred to fellow members.

  • All members must comply with up-to-date legislation and be able to provide proof of relevant approvals and licences
  • Members shall embrace open, honest and ethical business practices, allowing members of the public to make appointments to inspect their premises at convenient times.
  • Members will comply with Consumer Protection Regulations, embracing both the spirit and letter of the law. Comprehensive descriptions of services must always be made available, whether taking instructions directly from pet owners, or from third parties. Members must clarify on all marketing literature any services provided to veterinary practices or other agents, which fall outside the strict APPCC Code of Practice.
  • Members will ensure that every stage of the burial or cremation process (from collection to burial/scattering of ashes) is carried out in a dignified, caring and respectful manner.
  • Members will agree to, and comply with, the following terms and definitions for the services they offer. The intention is to avoid confusion caused by non-APPCC organisations using terms such as ‘communal cremation’ for services the Association classifies as ‘disposal.’(Note: the APPCC use of the term ‘cremation’ also encompasses careful and respectful handling of pets at all times.  In contrast to a ‘disposal’ service, pet owners are assured that bodies will not be placed on top of each other without there being a solid divider in place during collection, storage or cremation.  However, members are permitted to make other arrangements to those listed below when carrying out individual requests specified by pet owners).
  • Individual burial: Pets will be buried in a caring, respectful and dignified manner in a designated plot at a pet cemetery. Plots must be marked in some form and clients must be made aware of their pet’s final resting place and be granted access to it.
  • Individual cremation: Pets are cremated alone within an enclosed chamber with all ashes beingCremation-Chamber scrupulously collected prior to any other cremations taking place.
  • Communal cremation: Two or more pets are cremated together with no separation of ashes. All the ashes are buried or scattered in authorised memorial gardens, or natural areas. Clients must be made aware of – and be able to visit – their pet’s final resting place.
  • Note: the APPCC definition for communal cremation should not be confused with outside parties’ use of the term which may result in animals being handled in an undignified manner and ashes being taken to landfill sites. Even if the ashes are buried in the grounds of a pet cemetery, the service should still be described as a disposal, if there is no guarantee of respectful and dignified handling of pets.
  • Communal cremation with disposal of the ashes: This service applies to situations where there are no authorised memorial areas for pet ashes to be taken, leaving disposal as the only option. Pets will still be handled with great care and dignity during collection, storage and cremation, but ashes will be disposed of at a licensed waste site.
  • Note: again, this should not be confused with outside parties’ use of the term for communal cremation where there is no guarantee that animals will be handled carefully and respectfully.
  •  Disposal by incineration: A standard waste disposal service governed by current legislation. Under this arrangement, neither APPCC members, veterinary practices nor other agents can offer watertight assurances on aspects such as respectful handling of animal remains.
  • Disposal by landfill: A standard waste disposal service at a licensed site which must comply with current regulations. As is the case with disposal by incineration, no special handling assurances can be made.

All APPCC members operating crematoria services conduct individual cremations.

All APPCC members operating cemetery services conduct individual burials.


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