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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Animal Welfare

'A step in the right direction': From 1 February it will be illegal to sell a puppy less than 8 weeks old

The new regulations also require all adverts to include microchip numbers.

NEW REGULATIONS PROHIBITING the sale of dogs under 8 weeks of age and requiring all adverts to include microchip numbers has been welcomed by animal welfare organisations. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine told the issue of pet advertising and sales had been raised with by animal welfare organisations over the past number of years.  

“The new legislation will contribute to ensuring enhanced traceability of pets sold or supplied, in particular the new requirement to include the microchip number in an ad for the sale or supply of a dog,” the said. 

From 1 February, in order to sell five or more pets in one year a person must:

  • Register sales with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
  • Include specific information in an advertisement of a pet animal for sale or supply – including the microchip number in the case of dogs.
  • Maintain certain records regarding pet animals kept for sale or supply. 

Under the new regulations, it is also prohibited to sell or supply pets under certain specified minimum ages.


The requirement to register does not apply to dog breeding establishments which are already subject to a registration requirement under Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, they added. 

The DSCPA has said the new legislation is “a step in the right direction towards protecting animals” and that it is “particularly relevant as it relates to the online selling of animals.”

Dogs Trust, meanwhile, is urging the public to avoid buying dogs or puppies if a microchip number is not present on an advert.

This, the charity said, “is as this is an indication the seller does not want to be traceable and raises a very big red flag for the welfare of the dog and the conditions they are being kept in.”

Said Becky Bristow, Executive Director of Dogs Trust: “This is a significantly positive step forward in improving dog welfare in Ireland as it ensures the traceability of dogs being sold, back to the seller.

“In the past, people could be duped into buying a sick puppy under false pretenses with little or no guarantee from the person they purchased the dog from, but with these new regulations, this is about to change,” she said. 

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