Will Cork get a pet cemetery soon?

Cemetery for pets discussed in County Hall

A county councillor is calling for a pet cemetery to be established in Cork to allow people to bury their cherished animals with dignity.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Audrey Buckley said many people don’t own a garden in which to bury their pets and cremation fees can be upwards of €350.

Speaking at Monday’s full council meeting, Cllr Buckley said it costs about €100 to leave a pet at the vet to have it euthanised, and that animal would ultimately go on to a landfill.

Cllr Buckley said: “Pets are loving members of the family. Pet owners should have an option to memorialise their beloved pet in a meaningful and respectful way.”

Cllr Buckley also said a recent study in Ireland identified that 61% of all Irish households own either a cat or a dog, with 91% recognising both dogs and cats as members of their families.

Having undertaken her own research, Cllr Buckley said she was unable to find a pet cemetery in Ireland outside of Power’s Court in Dublin which is a tourist attraction.

"Having spoken with someone in the environmental department, it's very unclear what we do and what legally can be done with the pet. Are they allowed to be buried in your garden? How far away from the water?” asked the councillor.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Ann Marie Ahern suggested Cork could follow the example of the city of New York which has introduced a law allowing pets to be buried on family plots in graveyards.

She said: “In today's society, pets can mean an awful lot to people, they're integrated into families for a variety of reasons. I think it's something that Cork County Council should look at given how important pets and animals are to people nowadays.”

Independent Cllr Frank Roche asked that equine animals such as horses, ponies and donkeys also be considered in the motion as many of the farming community can become very attached to their animals.

“There's an awful lot of people with a close contact with horses and donkeys and the equine animals. Sadly, there was an animal murdered on my premises recently and you have no idea the upset it has on me. I'd like this council to realise what's happening out there with animals. It's very, very sad,” he said.