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Bodies being prepared for Scottish funerals in sheds, garages and kitchens, says official report

By Mirror | July 13th 2015

Rogue undertakers are preparing bodies for funerals in sheds, garages and even kitchens, a report to the Scottish Government claims.

Under current laws, anyone can open a funeral company or call themselves an embalmer – someone who prepares bodies for burial or cremation, without the need to undertake any training.

Consequently health and safety regulations are 'being regularly broken'. Bodies are being prepared for funerals by rogue undertakers in sheds, garages and even kitchens, according to a report sent to the Scottish Government.

A Holyrood inquiry into burials and cremation has heard evidence that health and safety regulations are being regularly broken.

Professional embalmer Jason King, who has 24 years’ experience in the trade, raised the shocking concerns over the preparation of bodies, reports the Daily Record.

King, a tutor with the British Institute of Embalmers, said: “Dead bodies are being embalmed anywhere.

"Corridors, garages, sheds, in the person’s house, the funeral director’s kitchen, on stretchers, in coffins, an old door on two trestles, in the viewing room (chapel of rest).

“Although these all break health and safety laws, it is happening on a daily basis across the country.

“Many companies do have suitable embalming or preparation rooms, some acceptable, a few above and beyond, but many have nothing at all.”

He added: “Laws are very often ignored... no one really wants to know what goes on, so a blind eye is turned by trade bodies and government officials.

“The funeral profession has a very shiny facade but behind this in many premises, the facilities are not fit for purpose or even non-existent.”

However, the National Association of Funeral Directors rejected any suggestion they were turning a blind eye to poor practice.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “We are now considering a range of options, including how the funeral industry might be regulated in the future.”

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