Euthanasia & Cremation

Euthanasia is a very emotional subject for all horse owners. Making the decision to have your horse euthanased is never easy but knowing what to expect can make that final decision a little more bearable. Please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your horse’s situation if it will help you to decide if the time is right.

In some instances a decision will have to be made urgently, for example if a serious colic or untreatable fracture occurs. It is harder when there are incurable long-term problems such as painful chronic lameness or other difficulties which can come with old age. In these circumstances the decision will be made to avoid further unbearable suffering.

Most people decide to have their horses euthanased at home in their familiar surroundings as this will involve the least disturbance for the horse. If there is time to plan, it is useful to have a large enough area with suitable access for the vehicle which will take the horse away. A quiet grassy area is a preferable choice. If you do not have the facilities at home or would prefer to bring your horse to the clinic, this can be arranged.

How should it be done?

There are two recognised methods of euthanasia

(1) Humane destruction using a firearm

This is very quick but dramatic for those unaccustomed to the use of firearms and may be a harrowing experience. We insist that the horse be sedated before hand to ensure relaxation.

( 2) Clinical euthanasia

This involves the administration of an intravenous preparation to induce unconsciousness.

Horses will usually lean backwards and then collapse on their side. They quietly drift off into a deep sleep and soon after the heart will stop. This may take up to 10 minutes in some cases but they are pain free and unaware of events.


This is at your discretion but regulations dictate that horses euthanised by clinical injection must be cremated. Also it is illegal to bury horses in the UK.

The options are:

(1) Cremation
(2) Cremation with ashes returned to scatter
(3) Cremation with ashes in a casket
(4) Disposal at hunt kennels

Equine Cremation Services

All payments should be made direct to the company and not Scott Dunn’s.


Collection and disposal: £292.80

They do not offer individual cremation or ashes.


Collection and disposal: from £228 to £262 (depending on size)

Collection, cremation and ashes (casket): £780

Collection, cremation and ashes (basket): £720

All are individual cremations.

All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Scott Dunn’s Equine Clinic is part of CVS (UK) Limited, a company which owns over 300 veterinary practices in the UK. Company Registration Number 03777473. Registered Office CVS House, Owen Road, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4ER