Legislation providing for compulsory microchipping of dogs is expected to be published shortly.
Deputy Brian Walsh, who raised the matter with the minister this week, welcomed the announcement that legislation requiring all dogs to be microchipped will soon come before the Dáil.
He said that that mandatory mirochipping would act as deterrent to dog theft, reunite more stray dogs with their owners, and make it easier to identify and prosecute perpetrators of animal cruelty.
"I am pleased that there has been progress in relation to this legislation, and we are on course to see compulsory microchipping rolled out in Ireland as early as next year," said Deputy Walsh.
"This is an important policy objective and one that will be welcomed by dog lovers, livestock owners, and anyone with an interest in animal welfare."
A variety of options for phasing in the requirement to microchip dogs is currently considered. These include making microchipping mandatory for newly born pups after a certain date, making it mandatory for all dogs sold or gifted after a certain date, or making it mandatory for all dogs within a set timeframe.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Covney told Deputy Walsh that a number of approaches were being considered. "However, I expect to be in a position to introduce appropriate legislation shortly," he added.