APPCC – The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria

The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria (APPCC) is currently the only organisation in Europe setting standards for the cremation and burial of pets such that owners can understand the service being provided.

APPCC, The The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria

The Association is based in the UK and all the members adhere to a strict code of practice to ensure that high professional standards are achieved and members provide a genuine, personal and reliable service that will offer peace of mind to the bereaved.

Handing your pet over for cremation is an act of trust. We strongly advise you to use, or to ensure your veterinary practice uses, an APPCC member.

Nottingham Pet Crematorium is proud to be a member of this association.

Code of Practice for Pet Cremation, Pet Crematorium and Pet Burial Services

All members of the Association have signed up to the APPCC Code of Practice. All members of the APPCC provide an open policy as per the Code of Practice, all members happily invite inspections and queries from the public as they strive to offer a dignified Cremation and Burial services for companion animals.

CODE OF PRACTICE (Amended July, 2013)

APPCC 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 being 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

APPCC Complaints Procedure

A customer may make a complaint about an APPCC member to the APPCC by phone or in writing

All complaints will be directed to the nominated APPCC committee member

A log of the complaint will be made

If the complainant has not yet made a formal complaint to the APPCC member in question then they will initially be advised to approach the member to air their grievance by phone or in writing

It is hoped that the majority of complaints will be resolved between the APPCC member and the customer directly

In the event that the grievance is not resolved then the complainant can contact the nominated APPCC committee member and ask them to investigate the complaint. This request must be in writing and must detail the complaint and all subsequent contact with the member, including the reason why they feel the complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily by the member

The committee member will contact the member and ask them to provide a written explanation of the grounds of the complaint including details all contact (both verbal & written) with the complainant

The committee member will reply to both parties within 14 days of receiving all the relevant case history.

Their reply may either:

Support the APPCC members handling of the complaint and close the case

Suggest further mediation between the parties in order to resolve the complaint

Suggest further action the member may take in order to resolve the complaint

Suggest that the complainant should obtain further advice from the CAB, Trading Standards Department or relevant Government Department.

In extreme circumstances where the actions of the APPCC member are likely to have brought the APPCC’s name into disrepute or constitute a serious breach of the APPCC’s Code of Practice the committee member will recommend to the Chairman that membership is suspended until the complaint is fully investigated or resolved.

To visit the Association website please click here