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Brussels opens its first pet cemetery

Woluwé Saint-Pierre Cemetery. Credit: Guy Delsaut // CC BY-SA 4.0

Brussels first cemetery exclusively for pets opened this week in Woluwé-Saint-Pierre, providing another option to cremation for pet owners in Belgium.

The cemetery has room for 70 pet graves and 105 urns, and also includes a pasture for spreading ashes.

Since 2002, animals that have passed have been considered as hazardous waste, said Woluwé mayor Benoît Cerexhe, which means that they must either be cremated or taken to an authorised cemetery.

Now, 18 years later, such a cemetery exists, while many used to bury their animals in their gardens or in parks. “Residents informed me several times that there was a corpse in a park, sometimes only a few metres from a playground for children,” Cerexhe remarked.

Such a cemetery has been three and a half years in the making, according to Cerexhe, who said that he was approached about the matter by then-Secretary of State for Animal Welfare Bianca Debaets in July 2017.

The cemetery is located at 301 Chaussée de Stockel, in front of the commune’s normal cemetery.

Funerals are currently reserved for dogs and cats, with a grave costing €150 for five years. An urn, meanwhile, costs €100, and the ashes of any type of animal can be spread there.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times