Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Animal Breeding Regulations

Photo of Pádraig O'SullivanPádraig O'Sullivan (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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38. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the restrictions and regulations being imposed on puppy farmers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43590/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 provides a robust regulatory framework for, inter alia, the licensing, monitoring and inspection of dog breeding establishments by local authorities and, where a serious and immediate threat exists to public health or animal health and welfare, for the closure of such establishments.

The day to day regulation of dog breeding establishments to ensure compliance with the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 is a matter for local authorities. It is the responsibility of each local authority to maintain the register of dog breeding establishments in their functional area. Welfare standards regarding dog breeding establishments have been provided for through guidelines.

In July 2018, following a public consultation, my Department published revised guidelines for Dog Breeding Establishments. These came into effect on 1 January 2019. There is a substantial shift in the new guidelines towards a focus on the welfare of dogs and pups. Each local authority is responsible for the monitoring of these standards with regard to the registration of such establishments.

Following a review, my Department is currently developing necessary legislative amendments to the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, which will further enhance the local authority inspection regime, with a view to inclusion in the 2021 Government legislative programme.

The enforcement of animal welfare standards for all animals, including dogs in dog breeding establishments, is a matter for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) under the Animal Health and Welfare Acts. DAFM introduced Regulations regarding the microchipping of dogs, S.I. No. 63 of 2015, which means that all dogs must be microchipped. Furthermore, in late 2019, DAFM also introduced the Animal Health and Welfare (Sale or Supply of Pet Animals) Regulations 2019 in respect of the advertising of pet animals, including dogs. Further information can be found at the following link:

Both Departments work closely with each other to ensure a coordinated approach is taken in this area.


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