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New dog laws unlikely to prevent attacks

Auckland City says proposed new dog laws unlikely to prevent attacks

New Zealand’s largest city today spoke publicly against the proposed changes to the Dog Control Act saying many of the amendments were unworkable in practice, an infringement on the rights of responsible dog owners and were unlikely to prevent future dog attacks.

Councillor Mark Donnelly, Auckland City Council’s Strategy and Governance Committee chairperson, spoke today at the Select Committee hearing in Auckland.

“Auckland City supports the aim to protect the right of every New Zealander to feel safe in their community,” he says.

“However we feel there is a lack of balance in the proposed amendments which fail to recognise the rights of responsible dog owners to own and control dogs.”

Mr Donnelly highlighted population growth and increasing pressure on open space in Auckland city as contributing to increased contact between dogs and the public.

In its submission, Auckland City supports giving dog control officers greater powers, the introduction of instant fines and an increased level of fines.

Auckland City does not support the new containment requirements, banning specific breeds and the unilateral classification of some breeds as “potentially dangerous”. The council also has reservations about the implementation of microchipping.

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