Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Disposal of dead animals including pets

Dealing with a dead animal

Normally, owners will take back their dead pet and either bury it or have it cremated.

What you must do

If you dispose of dead animals you must make sure that the disposal complies with the requirements of the Animal by-products regulations (ABPR).

You can find further information on the requirements of the ABPR in our animal by-products guidance.

Animal by-products and food waste

You must not bury or burn dead animals.

Pet owners can bury their own pets, provided that the pet is one normally kept as a pet, such as dogs and cats. Animals such as sheep and goats, which are primarily kept as farm animals cannot be buried. Even if they are kept as pets, they must be disposed of by an approved route.

If owners do not wish to have their pets returned to them, you should use a registered waste carrier to dispose of dead animals. You have a duty of care to make sure they are disposed of at a licensed animal crematorium or pet cemetery.


The National Fallen Stock Company provides a reliable, low-cost scheme to collect and dispose of horse carcasses.

You do not have to join the National Fallen Stock Scheme. You can still arrange to dispose of animal carcasses yourself. The National Fallen Stock Company can provide you with contact details for local disposal services.

National Fallen Stock Company

If you arrange the disposal of horse carcasses yourself, you should ensure that removal is by:

  • a renderer approved by DAERA (Northern Ireland) or Animal and Plant Health (Scotland), or a licensed knacker's yard
  • incineration in an incinerator licensed under the ABPR
  • a hunt kennels approved by Animal Health or DVO.

You must ensure that the recipients of the carcass hold the appropriate licence, permit or authorisation.

Waste management licences


GPP 13 Stables, kennels and catteries

Disposing of animal carcasses

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