The Dáil has debated the controversial Dog Breeding Establishments Bill including a number of amendments.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley said the Bill would not affect individuals who had less than six dogs, as they were not classified as a breeding establishment.

The minister has allayed concerns of hunt clubs by saying he would allow for continuation of tattooing of dogs for the time being instead of mandatory chipping.

He said the process would be reviewed after a year, at which point he may seek to introduce micro-chipping, as he believes it is more efficient.

The minister also indicated that he would be asking the Minister for Agriculture to amend the 1958 Greyhound Act to legislate for welfare provisions of greyhounds.

This would exempt registered greyhounds from the welfare provisions of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act.

The minister indicated that he would change from four to six months the minimum age at which a breeding dog would be counted as a part of a breeding establishment.

Fine Gael Environment Spokesman Phil Hogan has criticised the powers of inspection included in the Bill.

He said they undermine the property rights of individuals and go over the top.

Mr Hogan also criticised the penalties included in the Bill, which he described as onerous.

He said there was a lot of new material in the Bill and accused Minister Gormley of attempting to rush it through the Dáil.

Labour's Ciaran Lynch also criticised the rapidity at which the Bill is being rushed through the Dáil.

He said experience had shown that rushed legislation makes for bad legislation, which will create problems down the road.

Fianna Fáil's Máire Hoctor, who had been opposed to the measure, said she welcomed the changes and predicted the Bill would command support when it is voted on next week.

The debate has been adjourned until 2.30pm next Tuesday afternoon.