Louisiana Asks – Can I Be Buried with My Pet When I Die?
The Ancient Egyptians spent a lot of time worrying about the "afterlife". They built huge temples and tombs just so their pharaohs could have all the "comforts" and "possessions" of the Earthly life with them when they passed on to the next dimension. If you visit the pyramids and tombs you'll see the writing on the wall, literally, that told the story of what the "kings" wanted to bring with them.
In addition to treasures, incense, special spices, and food these ancient people often buried their animal friends with them too. The Egyptians buried a lot of cats. No, the cats weren't buried alive, they were mummified like their "masters" but still, it was people being put in the ground with their "pets".
A question of a similar ilk has been raised in Louisiana. Should residents of the state who choose to be buried with the cremated remains of their animal friends be allowed to do so? Right now, the answer is no. However, there is legislation that has been filed for the upcoming session that could change that for people who want to spend their eternal rest with their eternal best friends.
State Representative Wayne McMahen has once again filed legislation that would create a change in Louisiana's burial laws. McMahan explained to the Louisiana Radio Network how the state views such burials now,
Burial of anything but human remains in a cemetery is illegal. You can put some personal property in there; we know that’s been done. The remains of a living person or being is supposed to be just human.
This isn't the first time McMahen has filed legislation on this matter. The last time the bill was introduced it was basically killed, I know poor choice of words, right? by the Louisiana Cemetary Association. The Cemetary Association opposed the measure citing expense as the reason they would not support the measure.
Under the current adaptation of McMahen's bill cemeteries would not be mandated to accommodate those who wish to be buried with pets but a cemetery could choose to allow the practice.
Do The Pets Have to Be Dead First?
I know that's a question I had and you probably had too. The bill states that no pet may be euthanized for the purpose of burial with a human. The pet would have to have already passed and its remains cremated before it could be buried with its owner.
You might ask why is this even a thing. Well based on remarks made by Dr. McMahen, he's a retired veterinarian, the practice is already going on. It's kind of like betting on sports before sports betting was legalized. So, if the measure passes the state would have protocols and policies in place to regulate the practice so it doesn't get out of hand.
The legislation will be heard and debated in April when the next session of the Louisiana Legislature convenes in Baton Rouge.
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