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Minister McConalogue announces legislation to protect dogs from ear cropping

Minister McConalogue announces new legislation to protect dogs from ear cropping


Minister Charlie McConalogue T.D. today announced he has signed into law a new statutory instrument (SI 412/2023) to strengthen restrictions in relation to the practice of cropping the ears of dogs.


“Cropping of dogs’ ears is an unnecessary, cruel practice that has no place in Ireland. This procedure causes severe pain and lifelong problems for dogs. Cropping of dogs’ ears has been illegal in Ireland since 2013. These new regulations will extend existing prohibitions on ear cropping, to protect dogs across Ireland from this unjustifiable and needless mutilation.”


From the 1st of September 2023, it will be illegal for a person to be in possession, or have control, of a dog that has had all, or part, of its ears removed after this date (1st September), unless the person has in their possession the necessary documentation. Depending on the circumstances, the required documentation may be an import licence, a veterinary certificate or a record issued by an animal welfare charity.


It will be illegal to import into Ireland a dog with cropped ears unless an import licence is granted in advance.


The sale or supply of dogs with cropped ears (other than by listed animal welfare charities) will also be prohibited.


The new regulations also address availability of so-called “DIY dog ear cropping kits”, which can be used to carry out this mutilation. Possession, sale or supply of such equipment will be restricted to veterinary practitioners or their suppliers.


These regulations also prohibit owners or occupiers of land or premises in which shows, competitions, sporting or cultural events are held from having dogs with cropped ears present at such events.




Notes for Editors:


SI 412 of 2023 (Ear-Cropping of Dogs Regulations 2023) will come into force on 1st September 2023.

Under the 2013 Animal Health and Welfare Act, ear cropping was already illegal other than where ear tissue is removed by a veterinary practitioner for the purposes of veterinary treatment.

A list of animal welfare charities approved to rehome dogs with cropped ears following their rescue will be published.