Chinese can now send off dead pets at disposal plants

December 20th, 2011 - 11:35 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 20 (IANS) Pet owners in the Chinese capital who earlier had trouble finding a proper place to dispose off dead animals would now be able to do so “using advanced technology” at nine disposal plants to come up next year.

The municipal government of Beijing, in a bid to limit the practice of people burying their pets here and there, would establish the disposal plants that would be able to dispose of 12 tonnes of dead animals a day, the China Daily reported.

Wang Bin, a top veterinary official, said burying pets here and there could pose a health risk.

“How to cope with dead pets is still a blank in the relevant regulations… few pet hospitals take responsibility for animals’ funerals and most residents just throw their dead pets away like daily garbage. But the bacteria on dead animals can pollute the soil, which might be harmful to people’s health,” he said.

Over 60,000 “registered” dogs die in Beijing each year, according to government statistics.

But Wang said the total number of dogs that die each year was more than that, and there were other animals besides dogs that are kept as pets.

Not only pets in the capital could be sent to the disposal plants, but also dead animals from rural areas.

“The bodies will be disposed of using advanced technology that does no harm to the environment and people’s health,” he said.

However, some pet owners are apprehensive with the plan as the disposal treatment to be used at the plants would chemically dissolve the bodies. It means the pet owners may not be given their pet’s ashes.

A man said he would only use the plants if he is provided the ashes. He is also willing to pay a reasonable fee.

At a private cremation company, the manager said a cremation costs 400 yuan ($60) for each pet, while a burial is about 1,200 yuan.

At another crematorium, an employee said they cremated dead pets in line with their weight.

“Pets over 20 kg cost 800 yuan and lighter ones 500 yuan,” she said. A complete service, including cremation, cemetery and some flowers costs 1,850 yuan.

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