Sale of animals: obligations for breeders

Choosing to adopt a pet is a big responsibility for future owners, and these have never been as popular as they are today, mainly because last periods of confinement. But in addition to the financial commitment, there is also the more ethical question of the origin and creation of the animal. If the adoption especially with the SPA, is proving to be very popular, it is also possible to impersonate a farm animal, particularly in a pet shop. Breeders are thus strictly supervised by a series of legal and administrative measures detailed in the Rural Code.

A strictly defined legal creation and sales framework

Breeding must have as a main rule the priority of animal welfare before any other consideration, as well as ensuring good traceability within the sector. Breeder status belongs to any person (including private individuals) who chooses to sell at least one animal born to, or from a litter of, a breeding female they own. This status imposes very specific obligations, which must be used to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to properly raise a pet. The farm must be declared to your region’s Chamber of Agriculture in order to be assigned a siren number. The farm must have facilities that comply with the sanitary and animal protection standards defined by article L.214-6 of the Rural Code, and the animals must be tattooed or microchipped before sale, which cannot take place before eight weeks of age. The sale notice must include the siren number of the breeder, the age and number of the animals sold, the mother’s identification number and, in certain cases, as that of purebred dogs still very popular, registration of animals in a herd book of origins (LOF). The delivery of the animal must also be accompanied by a transfer certificate, an animal identification card, a veterinary certificate of good health and possibly informational documents on the animal’s education and nutrition.

What bans for breeders?

If it is much more than that, the animal is also considered by law at the time of sale as a commodity like any other, which gives certain rights to buyers who would face malicious breeders. The sale of pets is prohibited at any event that is not specifically dedicated to animals: these are therefore markets, flea markets, fairs or other public fairs, whatever they may be. Any sale on a non-legal basis, or on a self-service basis, which does not ensure compliance with sanitary conditions, is treated as street vending. However, since on January 1, 2022, the obligation of a compliance guarantee established for most business transactions can no longer be relied upon for pet sales. They are no longer governed by the Consumer Code guarantee. The guarantee of conformity was intended to extend the protection of buyers of pets, as soon as the breeder forced them to sign a deed of transmission systematically excluding the guarantee of latent defects from the Civil Code. Unless otherwise agreed, this new article L 213-1 of the rural code also puts an end to the application of the common law in the field of latent defects. The text specifies that only the warranty against redhibitory defects applies. The buyer cannot claim the existence of a contrary contract, if it is expressly indicated in the transfer document that only the guarantee of the Rural Code applies.

Possible special cases

The legislation on pet farms, however, takes specific cases into account when the situation calls for it. Thus, registration with the Chamber of Agriculture does not apply to individuals who decide to sell puppies and kittens from their home. However, the dogs in question must be considered purebred dogs with a litter number and LOF registered status. The sale of these animals must, however, be limited to a single litter per year and per tax domicile. The other main special case concerns animal donations, which do not impose the same constraints as the sale. It is not necessary to obtain a siren number, but the donation cannot be made either. You can only donate animals if they are older than eight weeks and can be identified in the chain of custody. The donor must, in its advertisement, clearly stipulate that the transaction is free of charge and undertake to provide a complete veterinary certificate to the new owner. Even within the scope of donations, the donor will have to acquire a Siren number if donating more than one litter per year. The case of sales between two European Union countries, however, is not always harmonized: if there are European regulations (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta) on the sale of cats, dogs and ferrets, this is not always the case for other animals. Animals must, whatever happens, carry a pet passport, issued by a veterinarian, who must also indicate vaccination against rabies. This passport must also be accompanied by an electronic chip, even if tattoos made before 7-3-2011 are also accepted.

(By the editorial board of the hREF agency)

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