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Can I bury my pet in a NSW cemetery?

What, if any companion animals (pets), can be lawfully buried in a NSW cemetery?


The short answer is no, if we are to comply with law and regulation and if we are referring to cemeteries set aside for the burial of deceased persons, and their commemoration.

The Public Health Regulation 2012Section 8 (Disposal of Bodies) states:

  • body means the body of a dead person, but does not include the cremated remains of the person. 

Section 8 prescribes the matters relating to the body only. It does not mention animal cadavers. Information about the disposal of animal carcasses is available from the Department of Primary Industries.

Cemeteries & Crematoria Act 2013 (NSW)

Section 54 of the Act throughout refers to the burial of human remains.  Essentially, it is predicated entirely on understanding interment rights as pertaining to a ‘person’ or ‘persons’ and ‘human remains’. 

Alternatively it might be argued that if something is not expressly forbidden, then it is ok.  A cemetery operator would be prudent to seek legal advice about its particular circumstances, policies, terms and conditions and local rules and regulations before allowing burial of the bodily remains of an animal within a public cemetery.


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