Human remains

The safe and legal burial and the exhumation of human remains has both public and environmental health impacts. SA Health in collaboration with government agencies, local government and industry and professional organisations have created fact sheets to assist the public in organising burial or exhumation of human remains.

Burial of human remains on private property

The Burial of human remains on private property (PDF 208KB) fact sheet has been developed to inform the legal, safe and dignified burial of human remains on private property.

It is illegal to bury human remains outside a lawfully established cemetery or approved natural burial ground. Burial on private property may be permitted only if the property is located outside of Metropolitan Adelaide or a township. Burial on private property is subject to the approval of the local council (or authority), the permission of the land owner, and strict legislative requirements.

Exhumations & export authorisations

Where there is a need for human remains to be exhumed for re-internment or transport overseas you will need to apply for an exhumation licence from the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department.

The Procedures for exhumations and export authorisations (PDF 685KB) information sheet has been created to explain how to apply for an exhumation licence, the steps involved in export, re-interment or cremation of exhumed remains and provides a guide to the responsibilities of people involved; such as the funeral director, cemetery manager and Health Protection Programs (SA Health).

Further information

For more information please contact Health Protection Programs by: