Launching your pet cremation business: the legalities you have to consider

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The world of pet cremation has come a long way in recent years. What was formerly a basic process in many cases consisting of little more than industrial waste incinerators processing any number of pets at any given time, animal owners who’ve sadly lost their trusty companions are now offered a solution with more dignity and care, delivered by experts with a passion for all creatures, using incinerators designed specifically for this purpose.

As the process of incineration is highly regulated, setting up a pet cremation business requires a certain element of legal compliance and the need to apply for various permits. At Inciner8, we’ve partnered with many successful pet cremation businesses, supplying machines that are designed and manufactured at our own HQ, to efficiently manage the cremation of pets.

Getting started with pet cremation

To launch your pet cremation business, you’ll need to consider the following elements:

DEFRA permits

Anyone purchasing an animal incinerator in the UK is required to submit an application to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), in order to secure an operating permit if required. After submission, the AHVLA (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency) will then come out to visit your site and ensure your premises is fit for purpose before a permit is granted.

Join an industry body

The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria is an industry members group that sets out specific working practices for those who want to provide a dignified service for pet cremation customers. You can become accredited by the APPCC, and membership shows you’re committed to providing genuine cremation services that are delivered professionally and with expert care.

Codes of practice

Pet cremations should be carried out according to the Code of Practice of APPCC or other organisation you have registered with. In the UK this is the principal organisation setting standards for pet bereavement services; associate yourself with the code of practice and apply it at all times.

Permits to spread ash

In most cases, pet owners will want to retrieve their animal’s ashes following cremation. But for scenarios where customers are happy for you to spread pet ashes on their behalf, you may need a permit.

If your site is in England or Wales, your activity may be covered by a regulatory position statement (RPS). If you comply with all the conditions of the RPS you don’t need to apply for an environmental permit to bury or spread ash. If your site is in Scotland, you must apply to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for your permit. More information on the rules surrounding animal by-product incineration can be found here.

Pet cremation with Inciner8

Whether you’re a start-up business in the pet cremation industry, if you’re looking to work with a new provider of cremation systems, or if you’re are an established animal business looking to add a revenue stream to your organisation, we can support you through the process. And for new businesses, we’ve developed “pet cremation business insights” it’s packed full of essential information to help you get started.


We’re a leader in the design and manufacture of bespoke, multi-chamber pet incinerators, offering a range of different sized machines to suit your specific business needs and accommodate a range of animals, from dogs to horses. Our pet cremation machines are in use all around the world, offering the pinnacle of efficiency and quality, teamed with our outstanding customer care service.

Losing a pet is a deeply personal experience, and while you’ll want to provide customers with an outlet to say goodbye to their animal in a dignified and personal capacity, your business must be established in line with the law.

Talk to our expert team to find out more about setting up your pet cremation business and how to get the most of of your inciner8 products by calling us on 0044 1704 884020 where they will be more than happy to discuss your options to get going in this massively expanding industry.

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