Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross, who had been contacted by concerned constituents over claims that the Cullen Pet Cemetery may have to close because it requires to be inspected and licensed, has commented after seeking clarification on the issue.  

The Government body known as the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) had written to the local volunteer/caretaker, Stephen Findlay, advising that they were to inspect the facility and as a result a likely charge would be incurred with regards licensing.

Douglas said:

“We are all aware of the excellent service Stephen provides to Cullen and the wider community by running the Pet Cemetery at Cullen free of charge, something he has done for over 20 years. This cemetery is well used by people from near and far to bury their family pets.

“I know there are concerns that the imposition of charges and a licensing structure would eventually mean that the well-used facility may have to close.

“I contacted staff at APHA seeking clarification on this matter and also wrote to the Scottish Government seeking their view on this issue.

“In their response APHA advised that all such facilities had now to be inspected and licensed and there were no exemptions.

“ Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, advised that under the Animal By Products (Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 2013, APHA were required by law to inspect such premises to ensure there was no danger to the public or environment from contamination.

“As I understand that this inspection has not yet been carried out, I will be keeping a close eye on developments and see what further support or action I can take to assist Stephen with his much respected and appreciated community work.”