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Tough line on dog bylaw enforcement continues

Tough line on dog bylaw enforcement continues

Auckland City’s zero tolerance blitz campaign to make sure dogs are kept on leads will continue.

Auckland City Council’s Works Committee today accepted a report that recommended the council continues to adopt the zero tolerance approach in enforcing its dog control bylaw.

Auckland City will therefore continue to fully enforce the requirement for leads on all dogs in public places by issuing instant $200 fines.

“The heat is still on,” says Councillor Bill Christian, Works Committee chairperson. “The 25 per cent increase in dog patrol resources will remain. We need to remain vigilant and rigorous in our enforcement of the bylaw.”

There has been a significant increase in public awareness of what is lawful and unlawful dog owner behaviour. 40 fines were issued in the first week of the campaign, but the number of infringements then dropped sharply.

“We are still issuing about 10 notices a week,” says Mr Christian, “so we still need the public’s support in keeping this safety issue top of mind.”

Since the campaign launch on 6 February 2003, a total of 86 instant fines were issued over the first four weeks. The committee also decided that all dog exercise areas across the city should be reviewed.

A working group is to be set up as soon as possible to appraise the assessment criteria developed by Western Bays Community Board, so that all other community boards who have not done so as yet may identify appropriate parks and reserves for designated dog exercise areas. All community boards may then employ the resulting official assessment criteria as a best practice assessment tool.

The assessment criteria of a park or reserve will consider issues such as physical characteristics, safety, current and future use, surrounding development, and conservation values such as flora and fauna.

“We will be moving quickly to provide our community boards with an effective assessment framework for designating exercise areas in their ward,” says Mr Christian. “When dealing with public safety, time is of the essence for this city wide dog exercise area review.”

It is anticipated that the community boards yet to examine their exercise area designations will make their deliberations known shortly for a city wide report on dog exercise areas. The boards are also expected to report back on the need for possible changes to the Dog Control Bylaw. This city wide report is to be presented to the June 2003 Works Committee meeting.

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