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Proposed New Dog Laws Don’t Go Far Enough

Proposed New Dog Laws Don’t Go Far Enough

Manukau City mayor Sir Barry Curtis says the government’s proposed changes to the dog control laws are welcome but he would like to see further changes.

“There are many sensible improvements. In particular, we are glad to see the power given to control officers to seize unregistered dogs on private property, and to seize dogs following an attack or a threatened attack. We have been lobbying for those changes for some time. We also support the introduction of national education campaigns for owners.

“However in some ways the proposals don’t go far enough and will not effectively clamp down on the most irresponsible owners.”

He says the Council would like to see:

A new maximum penalty of $5000 rather than $3000 as proposed

The power to force any potentially dangerous dog to be muzzled in public, rather than the categories named in the legislation. The Council does not believe it will be possible to be absolutely certain to determine the breed of a particular dog.

Clarification of what “secure containment” on a property means.

The Council also has strong reservations about the effectiveness of microchipping dogs as it believes this will not increase compliance with the law.

Sir Barry says, “Owners who already ignore the law and don’t register their dogs are also unlikely to get a microchip implanted.

“Most of the problems come from unregistered dogs, because their owners usually don’t bother to train their animals or restrain them properly. Often they abuse them which is why they become so aggressive.”

Manukau City Council will be making submissions to the government on the proposed changes.

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