Japanese pet cremators exposed for burning animals along with trash

  • Gorin Corp., a cremation services firm that provided subcontractors to Owari Hokubu Seien in the Japanese city of Inuyama, learned that the crematory’s workers had been burning their trash along with the corpses of pet animals for at least a decade now.
  • The firm launched a survey after a crematory employee discovered a tweet that revealed the disrespectful practice.
  • Gorin learned through its investigation that the workers, consisting of six men and women aged 20 to 60 years old, had been burning their trash, such as bento boxes and empty plastic bottles, along with the pets they were cremating.
  • “It’s unthinkable that they thought this was okay,” Shinji Ito, chief secretary of Aihoku Regional Crematorium Association, the association that is responsible for the crematory, told Vice.
  • “I’ve heard that the new hires learned this practice from watching employees who’d worked there longer, and just assumed that’s how they did things around here,” Ito said.

Cremation workers at Owari Hokubu Seien, a crematory in the city of Inuyama in Japan’s Aichi prefecture, had been burning their trash along with the corpses of pets for at least a decade now, an investigation found.

Gorin Corp., a cremation services firm based in Toyama prefecture that provided the subcontractors to Owari Hokubu Seien, launched a survey after a crematory employee discovered a tweet revealing the disrespectful practice.

When we cremate animals, we burn the trash from our convenience store bento boxed lunches with them,” a worker from Owari Hokubu Seien tweeted, according to SoraNews24.

After conducting the survey, Gorin discovered that multiple employees at the crematory had been doing the practice for almost 10 years now. The company apologized for its employees’ behavior in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, saying, “We are sorry for our employees’ acts that lacked awareness about pets.”

Gorin learned through its investigation that the workers, consisting of six men and women aged 20 to 60 years old, had been burning their trash, such as bento boxes and empty plastic bottles, along with the pets they were cremating.

Although various Japanese cities and wards have their own rules, the East Asian country still takes its garbage sorting very seriously. Plastic bottles and other similar containers, for example, are considered to be recyclable trash and not burnable garbage.

It’s unthinkable that they thought this was okay,” Shinji Ito, chief secretary of Aihoku Regional Crematorium Association, the association that is responsible for the crematory, told Vice.

Ito said the association was only made aware of the issue through social media, adding that the practice within the crematory became normalized through the years.

I’ve heard that the new hires learned this practice from watching employees who’d worked there longer, and just assumed that’s how they did things around here,” Ito said.

Fuso Mayor Takeshi Sabase issued a statement following the incident. He apologized for the practice at the crematory, saying, “We’d like to strive to make operation rules strict and work to restore trust. We sincerely apologize to affiliated parties for causing a great deal of trouble.”

Yukiko Furuhashi, the head of cat protection community group Inochi ni Yasashii Machizukuri Hearts, called out Japan’s Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act for categorizing dead animals as “waste stuff.”

It’s an act that can’t be tolerated. I wonder if their awareness that they are handling ‘life’ has been decreased because pets are treated as ‘stuff’ by law,” Yukiko, whose group is based in the city of Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture, told the Mainichi Shimbun.

 

Featured Image via Hebrew Matio (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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