Rest for eternity alongside his animal, soon possible?

A bill to allow the deceased to rest with their animals could soon be debated in Parliament. The 30 Million Friends Foundation supports this initiative, as long as pets are now designated by the French as “full members of the family”.

Together, for eternity… In February 2022, around thirty deputies (27 in total) proposed a law aimed at allowing deceased owners to rest with their pets. A practice still prohibited by the general code of local authorities (CGCT) which limits burial in a municipal cemetery to only human beings.

In France, one in two families has at least one petrecalls the explanatory memorandum to the text. These animals are now designated as full members of the family and some citizens even want them to introduce themselves to their pets “.

To respond to this societal demand “ growing », the deputies wishing to authorize (who expressly states this choice during his lifetime), to have the cinerary urn of his animals stored alongside him – within his coffin – during the burial in a communal cemetery.

Giving a legal existence to animal cemeteries

It seems inconceivable to us that in 2022, France will not allow citizens to rest with their animals.

deputies

Like what is already possible in Switzerland, Germany or the United Kingdom, the text also aims to allow any individual who has chosen cremation to be able to have their ashes placed with those of their pets in one of the already existing animal cemeteries. ” These structures currently have no legislative existence “, regret the parliamentarians who thus propose to create – within the CGCT – ” a new chapter dedicated to these cemeteries ” to pay ” put an end to this legal vacuum ” and ” allow these structures to benefit from a defined legal framework”.

Inaugurated at the end of 19th century, the cemetery of Asnières (92) would have buried nearly 100,000 animals: ” I don’t know of a place where this love of humans for their pets appears with more evidence than this cemetery in Asnières. “, had named the writer Michel Houellebecq to Reha Hutin, after the death of his faithful companion, buried in this haven of peace. In 2018, the 30 Million Friends Foundation discussed the creation of a cemetery dedicated to animals, thanks to the initiative of its partner association “L’Amicale des chats”.

Respect the will of the deceased within a well-defined framework

Notwithstanding, the parliamentary initiative does not seem to have a consensus: in the past, ” the Council of State considered this request unworthy “, deplores the former deputy Loïc Dombreval, co-signatory of the PPL. Indeed, by a decision of April 17, 1963, the high administrative court had validated the prohibition imposed on a concessionaire of a vault to be buried there with his dog, the notion of “dignity of the dead” implying, according to the judge, to separate the spaces dedicated to the burial of humans and that of animals. Conversely, the elected officials of the Palais Bourbon define that the authorization to rest with one’s animals is not contrary to any of the principles of respect, dignity and decency due to the dead: ” It seems inconceivable to us that in 2022, France will not allow citizens wishing to stay with their animals to do so within a strictly defined framework.assures the deputies. No interference with the integrity of human bodies and ashes – human or animal – nor any form of enslavement or degradation of bodies – or ashes – would be permitted. »

To love an animal is human, to accede to the wishes of a deceased too.

L. Dombreval – Former MP

Especially since the penal code punishes with 6 months’ imprisonment and a fine of 7500 euros the fact of giving to the funeral ” a character contrary to the will of the deceased », so that the will of the citizen who expressly and freely states his will to rest with his animal after his death must be respected.

It remains to be seen when this proposal will be put on Parliament’s agenda to finally be debated and, hopefully, adopted. ” Loving an animal is human, acceding to the wishes of a deceased too “, rightly summarizes the former deputy Loïc Dombreval.

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