Frequently asked Q & A

Q & A - Respectable to the end

Q  Can I bury my horse/pony or donkey?

Horse burial is often the first thought that comes to mind when the end of life comes to our equine friends. But it is important to consider the practicalities.   The following information may help you in making an informed decision. Please call our team at Equine End of Life Service for further information.

Horses that are kept as pets can be buried provided the owner, obtains the agreement of their local authority and follows its advice.  The local authority has to agree that the horse is a pet rather than livestock, which can not be buried.  Equines not kept as pets must be collected and delivered to premises approved under EU Animal By-Production Regulations.  Our nationwide- wide approved collectors can help you with this service.

Horse owners must comply with all stipulations made by their local authority regarding the burial site.

These are likely to include;

  •   250m away from any well, borehole or spring that supplies water.
  •   A minimum of 30M from any other spring or watercourse.
  •   At least 10M from a field drain.
  •  At least 1M of subsoil from the bottom of the burial pit, allowing a hole deep enough for at least 1M of soil to cover the carcass.

It may be necessary for heavy plant and machinery to be used, the arrangement of which, may mean that burial is difficult when a horse dies unexpectedly or in the case of emergency equine euthanasia.

Q  Am I making the right decision in putting my horse down?

Saying goodbye will never be an easy decision to make, but it may be useful to know that few horses die naturally without suffering.

Euthanasia will ensure a pain-free death, but knowing when to make that decision is a worry for all owners.

Some important indicators that may highlight when the end is drawing near are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Difficulty to move and/or get up after lying down

As far as the act of euthanasia is concerned, there are two options available – shooting or lethal injection.  It may be useful  to plan what will happen to your horse`s body afterwards.  It will be easier for you when the time comes if prior arrangement have already been made.  Please call our office 01335 320030 for more information.

You may need some emotional support during this difficult time.

There are schemes and information available from World Horse Welfare, the BHS and Blue Cross to ensure that horse owners are supported through every stage of equine euthanasia. To find out more, go to With You Every Step Of The Way