Laws on selling dogs

Information on this page is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. When in doubt you can ask your vet, local dog warden or the Department of Agriculture for clarifications on the laws and regulations around importing, breeding, microchipping and selling your dogs.

EU Laws

Irish Laws

There are four main laws in relation to selling dogs in Ireland. The 2010 act initiates an extension to the Amendment of Control of Dogs Act 1986, primarily around dog breeding establishments. The 2015 act covers items around microchipping provisions and covers the whole lifecycle of a dog from birth to death. The 2019 act has additional information when it comes to being a Registered Seller of dogs with the Department of Agriculture, a Registered Breeding Establishment with your local county council and the requirements for online and offline advertising of dogs for sale including microchip registration. The EU Animal Health law sets out provisions for breeder registrations.

Other important laws

There are of other laws around animal welfare which one should also be aware of, they cover some special cases like tail docking for example:

The Animal Health and Welfare act covers such things as baiting and dog fighting. Ear cropping, while not explicitly mentioned, has also been prosecuted against through the courts [link] through this act.

Tail Docking of dogs

Since 2014, it has been clarified under what situations tail docking in Ireland is legal. There are some clear and specific circumstances where it may be permitted to be performed, this is generally in the case that the dogs intend to be used in a working capacity, e.g. on a farm.

Dog Dew Claw removal

Since 2014, it has been clarified under what situations dew claw removal. There are some clear and specific circumstances where it may be permitted to be performed, this is generally in the case that the dogs intend to be used in a working capacity, e.g. on a farm.

Ear Cropping of dogs

Ear cropping has been deemed illegal under the “Animal Health and Welfare Regulations 2019” Act in Ireland. This unnecessary practice is purely done for aesthetic purposes. Note: It may be possible to import a dog that has had this procedure where it was legal. 

Restricted breeds

There are also a number of breeds that have muzzling requirements which is covered in the The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998. You can read the the list of restricted breeds here. Mixed breeds with one or more of these dogs is also subjected to these laws, and this covers dogs of all ages, even as puppies.

Laws for sellers of dogs

We strongly recommend that all sellers of dogs read and understand their obligations under these acts for the sale of dogs, and buyers also to be aware of them as well. It is your obligation as a seller to know what laws effect you, and how they are enacted. When in doubt you can consult a legal professional or Garda for guidance, your vet may also be able to support you too.

Updated on November 27, 2022

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