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Eight months in prison for woman without waste permit

A woman who burned dead pets and clinical waste without proper permitting on a field she rented in Denby, Derbyshire, has been sentenced to a total of eight months in prison.

Emma Bent traded as Peak Pet Cremations, collecting animals from veterinary Ambivet Group in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to be cremated, which she was not registered to carry out. She was sentenced to four months imprisonment for illegally collecting, disposing and handling dead pets and clinical waste. Charges were also brought by Trading standards and the Crown Prosecution service.

In sentencing, the Judge felt the case merited a custodial sentence due to the distress caused to the owners of the pets.

Environment Agency Environmental Crime Team leader Peter Rutherford said: “Her unlawful activity resulted in pet owners being left very distressed and saved her large sums in costs that legitimate businesses would have had to pay. It also polluted the environment and was likely to cause harm to human health.”

An investigation into Bent’s operations began in August 2009 when a man walking his dog along a bridle path came across a “terrible stench”, finding the bodies of four dogs in a drainage ditch. When he reported this, the Environment Agency discovered the owners of the dogs thought they had been cremated. Bent had provided the families with ashes they thought were from their dogs.

Bent used Primrose Farm to cremate pets but it was found in September 2009 that she had been using nearby land to burn dead animals and clinical waste, such as needles and medicines. Among the waste were the remains of cats and dogs.

In addition, EA officers found that a small green metal shed on the site had over 100 bags of clinical waste stored inside it.

Bent accepted she unlawfully stored and burnt clinical waste. When officers showed her pictures of fox and rabbit skulls found in the scorched earth, she said she did not know she had burnt such animals. In response to the discovery of the dogs, Bent claimed someone had broken into the shed and taken the dogs.

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