New pet rules: What they mean when buying your next sheepdog

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a reminder to sellers and suppliers of pet animals of the new rules on the sale, supply and advertising of pet animals.

Established under the Animal Health and Welfare (Sale or Supply of Pet Regulations) 2019, SI 681 of 2019, the rules come into effect on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Sellers and suppliers of more than six pet animals in a given year must register with the department and maintain certain records.

Anyone registered under the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 is not required to further register with the department as a seller or supplier of pet animals.

All advertisements for the sale or supply of pet animals must include certain minimum information about the pet and the seller or supplier.

This includes the registration number issued by the department, or the DBE registration number, or in the case of charities, the number issued under the Charities Act 2009.

If the pet is a dog, the ad must include its microchip number.

The department has also launched a voluntary Code of Practice for Sellers and Suppliers of Pet Animals. The code contains guidelines on animal welfare.

It also has guidelines on ensuring potential customers are provided with good-quality information on the appropriate care of the animal.

The code of practice also addresses public health concerns, for example the need for good hygiene when handling animals, and the potential risk to the health of children under the age of five associated with contact with reptiles.

Existing sellers and suppliers have three months from Saturday, February 1, to complete their registration with the department. However, the requirements regarding record-keeping and advertisements apply from Friday.

Further information on the new rules, the application form for registration and the code of practice are on the department’s website here.