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What are France's new rules for buying pets?

The Local France
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What are France's new rules for buying pets?
A kitten under care in its cage before being offered for adoption near Paris in 2018 (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

From January 2024 France has a new rule that regulates the purchase of dogs and cats in pet stores.

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A new measure banning prospective pet owners from purchasing dogs or cats in pet stores (animaleries) went into effect at the start of 2024.

Pet stores will no longer have the right to sell dogs and cats, but they will still be able to able to offer snakes, reptiles, rabbits, rodents, birds, and fish.

The measure, which is part of a wider law against animal abuse passed in 2021, is intended to combat impulsive purchases.

Claude Charles, who runs the Gray SPA shelter in Haute-Saône, told Franceinfo that the rule is "very good for us". Charles noted that sales in pet stores had often moved too quickly, leading to higher rates of abandonment. 

READ MORE: How to adopt a pet from a French animal shelter

Technically, there may be some dogs and cats sold in pet stores, if the sale is done "in partnership with animal protection organisations". This means that, with the involvement of volunteers from shelters or associations, pet shops will be allowed to display animals that may have been abandoned or whose previous owners were never located.

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It will still be required to sign a 'Certificate of Commitment' - a measure which went into effect in October 2022 - one week prior to purchasing a dog or cat in France, and sales at puppy shows will remain possible.

According to France's Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA), nearly 17,000 animals were abandoned in France between during the summer (May to August) of 2023.

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