Departmental Response to petition on commercial breeding of dogs & puppy sales

Following a petition registered on, a large volume of correspondence has been received by the Department, calling for a review of legislation governing:

  • dog breeding establishments
  • sales of pups
  • the licensing and inspection of animal sanctuaries

Regrettably, it is not practical for the Department to reply to each person on an individual basis.  If you have written to the Department concerning this subject, you are asked to regard this notice as confirmation of receipt of your correspondence and an acknowledgement of your views on this matter.

By March 2018, the Department will commence a review of the current legislation relating to animal establishments (for example petshops, animal boarding and riding establishments) as part of commitments arising from the implementation of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

As part of this review, consideration will also be given to other establishments where animals are kept, including animal sanctuaries and rehoming charities, and premises where animals are exchanged in return for payment, including third party sales and online sales.

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