The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) is to introduce “compulsory, independent inspections” for its members.
Announced during the APPCC’s 25th anniversary celebrations at the historic Shrigley Hall Hotel near Macclesfield, it is said that the new regulation will cost the association £14,000. Prior to the new legislation the pet funeral industry was still only regulated from the perspective of waste disposal legislation.
Pet crematorium and cemetery owners will now have their operating and marketing procedures examined by the organisation to ensure they meet the strict APPCC Code of Practice and are complying with consumer protection regulations. Overseas members will be required to provide video and photographic evidence of how they operate.
Stephen Mayles, vice-chair of the APPCC, said: “This is the biggest development in the pet cremation sector to date. The cost of introducing the mandatory inspection system is money well spent. It is there to help you to ensure your business is running properly, legally and working to the same level.”
Association chairman Nick Ricketts believes the APPCC’s work has “never been so critical”, given the “corporatisation of the veterinary world”.
Ricketts said: “This shift has seen small private veterinary clinics bought up by national companies which often keep the old name of the surgery and don’t tell the clients about the takeover.
“The public doesn’t realise also that some of these large vet groups are doing high volume, low-cost deals with crematoria chains to offer a very basic level of service at an inflated price. This has led to many vets abandoning the local APPCC pet crematorium after years of dedicated service.”
He added: “Pet owners could therefore be inadvertently missing out on the services of their local APPCC operator who is bound by a strict code of practice governing transportation, handling and the meticulous care of ashes.”