This is a quick guide to help you understand the process of being Registered Seller of Pets in Ireland, and the some background about the new law. This requirement also holds true if you sell or supply other pet animals (cats, rabbits, birds etc.), not just dogs.
Since February 2020, the way that we breed and sell dogs in Ireland has changed. And many would argue that it’s for the better. The new regulations that came into force are designed to regulate the industry and ensure that animal welfare is a priority at all times. But what does this mean for people who would like to breed their dogs? Can anyone still sell a puppy?
The simple answer to that is yes, anyone can still sell a puppy provided that it is microchipped & registered.
However, thanks to the Animal Health and Welfare (Sale or Supply of Pet Regulations) 2019 that came into law in February 2020, people who sell six or more dogs in a calendar year must now become a Registered Seller of Pets, sometimes known as a registered breeder.
Now this is a little different to Dog Breeding Establishments. A Dog Breeding Establishment is regulated under The Dog Breeding Act 2010 and to be considered one, you must have six or more female dogs that are capable of producing litters of pups on your property.
That means that even if you don’t consider yourself a business owner, don’t have a business name, own kennels, or have more than one female dog capable of breeding, you still need to register once you sell six puppies in a year.
How do I register?
The good news is that registering is relatively simple.
All you need to do is download and fill out the Pet Sales Application for Registration form. If you click that link, a PDF document will download to your computer.
You need to print off the document and then fill out the details. Tip: If you don’t have access to a printer you can also contact the Department to send you out a paper version.
Your name and contact information must be accurate and you must give the exact location where you plan to sell your puppies from. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a business property, your own home address will do if that’s where your puppies will be based. But we cannot stress how important it is to put down accurate information including your Eircode.
Home inspection 🏠
Your vet will need to inspect your home and declare that it’s safe for animals to be bred.
The form must be signed and dated and the original copy sent to the address at the bottom of the form. If you’re unsure about any section of the form, then DO NOT send it in. You can also take a photo of the filled out form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact email@example.com with any queries first, and once you’re sure you have the right information, you can send in your application.
If your application is successful, you will receive an email certificate that you must be able to produce if local authorities or any buyer asks to see it.
Steps to become a Registered Seller
Here is a quick rundown of the steps you need to do:
- Download & print off the registration for on www.gov.ie/registered-pet-sellers
- Complete the form, sign and date
- Take a photo of the form
- Have a vet inspect your premises and declare that it is safe to breed dogs (new
- Send a photograph of form to the Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wait 1- 4 days business to get your Registered Sellers ID back
- (Share with the dogs.ie team to have it added to your profile)
Example Registered Sellers Certificate
Above is an example certificate. It contains a Unique Registration Number which is to be entered in the breeders ads. It also has the details of when the cert was issued, to whom and their address. This should also be present to a buyer on request and should be on the premises where the dogs are kept.
FAQ about Register Sellers Registration
Here are some questions that have come up about registering with the Department of Agriculture.
Q: What if I don’t sell the dogs, I give them away for free?
A: This is still classed as supply. And counts towards your yearly total. For example animal charities who rehome without any financial gain are required to register.
Q: What if I give a dog to a family member (Free or at a price)?
A: This is still classed as supply.
Q: I have one ad open without the ID, and I have another ad that puts me over the limit, do I need the ID on all ads?
A: Yes. Once you sell or attempt to sell 6 or more dogs we will require the DAFM registration. Once we update your profile with your ID it will show in all ads automatically.
Q: I sell other pets as well, do they count towards the total?
A: Any pet animal is counted, cats, rabbits, dogs, birds , etc.
Q: Can I use a Herd Number from the Department of Agriculture, as my Registered Sellers ID?
A: A Herd Number is a separate number and is for cattle purposes only.
Q: I’ve another question, not covered here:
A: You can email email@example.com, or call the Department directly on 01 607 2862.
Wait, does that mean my application can be rejected?
Yes, it can. There are several reasons why your application can be rejected including the following:
- You filled out your application incorrectly or left out information
- Your premises are unfit for the purpose of breeding
- You have committed an offense relating to animal welfare
Why do I need to register?
The whole purpose of registration is to ensure that all dogs in Ireland are provided with a certain level of care should owners decide to breed them.
Unfortunately, there are some private individuals that take advantage of their dogs and force them to have multiple litters in very short spaces of time. The need to register as a breeder and seller of dogs will hopefully discourage this practice and help the authorities regulate the industry. The Department provides a Code of Practice for sellers and suppliers of pet animals that all Registered Sellers need to adhere to.
That said, the government has taken a common sense approach to breeding. By allowing private individuals to sell as many as five puppies a year, owners who wish to breed their dogs can still continue to do so. Of course, some might argue that the limitation of five puppies is too strict as dogs can have large litters. But there needs to be a cut-off point and five puppies or less seems like a reasonable figure.
The truth of the matter is that if you are selling six or more puppies a year, then you are more or less running a business. And as a business, the authorities need to ensure that you provide the right care for your dog and puppies.
Believe it or not, this is not about making breeders pay tax on their earnings, this is 100% about the welfare of dogs in Ireland.
Are there specific guidelines that I need to follow?
Yes, you will need to maintain full records for anything that you do relating to breeding or selling for a period of three years.
These records should include the following:
- The name and information of anyone you purchased a dog from
- The name and information of any buyers of your dogs/puppies
- Proper records of every dog that has passed through your property including breed details, dates of birth, and microchip numbers
The local authorities can visit you and ask to see these records at any time so you really need to keep on top of this. If they find that you don’t have the right information or that some records are missing, they can recommend that your registration status is revoked. This will effectively ban you from selling any more than five puppies in a year.
The government has also created a code of practice for sellers and suppliers of pet animals. These guidelines are voluntary, but we see no reason why anyone who loves dogs wouldn’t follow them to the letter.
That’s really all there is to it. If you’d like to know a little more about the dog breeding laws of Ireland, check out our guide right here.
Displaying the Registered Sellers ID
So you are registered, what next? A few things happen
- the DAFM maintains an active register of Registered Sellers on www.gov.ie/registered-pet-sellers and you will be included on this. Since February 2021 this list is updated regurally.
- dogs.ie will include this Registered Sellers ID in your ads once you’ve included it in your profile. This will help you keep in compliance with the legal requirements for advertising a dog.
If you no longer sell dogs and you can also request to be removed from the register. Registered Sellers are required to keep a copy of the cert on premises and to be able to display it if requested.
As a buyer we recommend you cross check this list of registered sellers, this one reasons for publishing a list of sellers. Note : Only name, ID and general address are published in this list.