Losing a loved one is hard enough without facing a fine

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Anyone who has lost a dog or cat knows the grief it can cause – because they are family, after all.

For those of us who want to bury them at home, there are legal requirements that must be followed and failure to do so could prove costly.

The burying of animals is covered under The Animal By-Products Regulations and must meet the criteria covered in this legislation, otherwise owners could face a fine or even imprisonment.

What are the rules?

  • Your pet must not be buried near a water source

  • It must be beneath 2ft of soil in heavier soils, and 3ft in lighter soils

  • You must own, not rent, the land where it's buried

  • The animal must not be hazardous to bury – this can be from treatment previous to their death, such as chemotherapy

Should you bury your pet without following these rules, you can face a maximum fine of £5,000 (the statutory maximum fine in the UK), or three months’ imprisonment.

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If the animal can be safely buried at home, then there are certain precautions you can take to ensure your animal rests peacefully.

What's the best way to bury it?

If you have another pet at home, it is important to let them have a few sniffs of your pet so they understand what has happened.

It is also recommended you bury the body either in a plastic bag, a metal box, or a wooden box.

This, paired with the deep burial, means your animal’s remains are less likely to be disturbed by other creatures.

Additionally, it is advisable to cover the burial spot with stones, a slab, or a paving stone to again ensure the spot cannot be disturbed.

For funeral notices in your area visit funeral-notices.co.uk