Biodegradable caskets give guinea pigs dignity in death

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In Australia, two women have launched a business making biodegradable pet coffins and body bags.

Zoe Ednie-Brown and Jahna Trethowan of Kojonup, West Australia, founded Orchid Valley Pet Co. after Ednie-Brown’s guinea pigs, Taze and Tex, went to guinea pig heaven.

“I grew up in the country, so we usually just buried our animals under a tree but in the metro areas there are people who live in flats and apartments who can’t do that,” Ednie-Brown tells ABC. “I rang a vet friend who said it was actually quite an awkward process — the animals are stuffed into horrible black plastic bags that leak and are not easy to handle. There was no fancy alternative and nothing that was biodegradable or suitable for cremation.”

The business now sells pet caskets and body bags to Australia and New Zealand, and distribution deals in Europe are being negotiations. The caskets are designed for animals up to 11 kb, Ednie-Brown adds.