A brief history of pet cremation in the UK

Pet cremation has been practised for many years, although it has only recently been publicly accessible. To serve veterinary clinics across the UK, many new small-town pet crematoriums have popped up alongside more established, huge “one-stop” pet crematoriums.

Due to old age or illness, the majority of pets must be put to sleep in a veterinary clinic. Vets used to provide consumers with a straightforward disposal service up until the 1980s. This often involved veterinarians transporting deceased animals to the neighbourhood waste plant to be landfilled (this is still a permissible method of disposal today!). The first veterinarian pet disposal services debuted in the UK about 30 years ago.

These businesses provided regular clinical waste removal for veterinarians as well as mass incineration—also known as “community cremation”—for the hygienic disposal of deceased animals.

These businesses gradually started providing “ashes back” services through veterinary clinics. The way the pet was cremated and its uniqueness differed greatly (and sadly still does). As demand for personalised pet cremation services increased, these businesses changed their name to “pet crematoriums,” withdrew information about their waste disposal practises from public literature, and positioned themselves in the eyes of veterinarians as a “one-stop solution” for veterinary practises.

Pet Crematorium in Essex of different sizes and forms have popped up all across the UK during the past 30 years. While an increasing number of businesses have specialised in solely offering individual pet cremation services, some have built their businesses around the “one stop solution” utilised by the larger businesses. This indicates that a lot of businesses using the same lingo to describe very diverse approaches to collecting, handling, and cremating your cherished pet.

Another unsettling pattern has emerged in recent years. Many corporate veterinary offices have purchased pet crematoriums. Frequently, neither the veterinary clinics nor the pet cemeteries change their branding, so pet owners are in the dark about who is caring for their animals. When a veterinary office recommends the services of their own pet cremation without making it obvious that they are owned by the same company, this creates ethical and consumer protection concerns. For instance, one business, CVS UK Ltd., controls seven pet crematories in addition to more than 400 veterinarian offices (at the time of writing).

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