Incinerator Legislation: Going Back To Basics

Whether you already have an incinerator on site, or are considering investing into one soon, it's useful to have up to date information on the regulations and legislation set by the bodies who oversee safe, ethical and efficient incineration.

To break it down, we've compiled this easy-to-follow digest of everything you need to know if you're about to purchase an incinerator. The following guide also includes everything you should double check if you're already using an incinerator regularly.

Who's who in the world of incineration?

First things first, here are some handy acronyms:

  • DEFRA & The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • APHA & Animal & Plant Health Agency
See DEFRA's website for more information.

These are the two key players in incineration regulation in the UK, and they work together to ensure owners of incinerators meet particular standards.

DEFRA, a governmental department, is responsible for developing regulations. APHA, a national agency, is responsible for enforcing these regulations and carrying out inspection.

The basic requirements of owning an incinerator

See APHA's website for more information

Anyone wanting to operate an incinerator for the disposal of animal by-product & carcasses, innards, entrail and any other material coming from a dead animal & must submit an application and inspection form for approval by APHA, who will then grant or refuse permission for an animal incinerator.

The form is easy to complete, and simply asks for the key details about your incineration operation. This includes:

  • The type and quantity of waste you will be burning
  • Where your incinerator is kept
  • What drainage systems you have in place
  • How much ash you will generate
  • The temperature of the incinerator you'll be using

If you're considering having an Inciner8 product installed, and need to fill in an application, we'll take you through it step by step so all the information you input is 100% accurate.

Considerations when completing your application

While the application form itself is a simple piece of paperwork, there are some other factors to bear in mind...


You will have to make a payment when submitting your application to operate an incinerator. Costs across different regions of the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) are similar but differ slightly, so check out the APHA Fee Guidance relevant to where you're operating. This information was last updated in June 2019:


Both the EU and DEFRA have set out particular standards for incinerators to ensure they comply with environmental best-practice, so that farming is a sustainable industry with animal welfare at its fore.

When making your application to operate an incinerator, ensure the information you're providing relates to a DEFRA-approved product, which meets EU legislative requirements. Many of Inciner8's products meet these standards, meaning your application is more likely to be approved if you use one of our incinerators.


Depending on the type of incinerator you install or have installed, you may be subject to needing planning permission.

Healthy animal livestock feeding in a lush rural environment.

You can contact our team who will explain more about your preferred incinerator and whether or not it's likely to fall under planning regulations, and if so, you should then make contact with your local authority.

Typically, an incinerator disposing of less than 50kg of animal by-product per hour, planning permission shouldn't be required. For anything above this & operations classed as high capacity' & planning permission and further regulations will apply.

The rules also differ depending on whether or not you're registered as a commercial premise.

Next steps

Once permission is granted and your incinerator is installed, a Duty Vet will visit your site to ensure the incinerator conforms to all the required standards, including relevant operating temperatures. They may provide guidance on the location of your incinerator, and any alterations that are needed, as well as advice on best practice.

For further support and guidance on incinerators, and how to apply to operate one on your site, please get in touch and we'll be able to advise on how to progress.

Listed below are some of our DEFRA approved incinerators

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