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Auckland City enforces new dog legislation


MEDIA RELEASE

6 April 2004

Auckland City enforces new dog legislation to improve public safety

The Dog Control Amendment Act 2003 allows Auckland City more scope for dealing with unregistered dogs and irresponsible dog owners. The council can now seize and impound unregistered dogs.

As part of the legislation enforcement, dog control officers recently undertook an impromptu inspection of an area in Glen Innes that had previously been identified as being repeatedly non-compliant. During the inspection, council officers seized 14 dogs and most of these have been put down as their owners were not prepared to claim and register them.

Three infringement notices were also issued to owners of unregistered dogs and further notices are expected to be issued once dog owners are identified. Three dogs were seized and impounded for wandering in the area unsupervised and unleashed. While carrying out this type of work, a dog control officer was bitten and admitted to hospital. The officer has since made a full recovery.

Mr Barry Smedts, Auckland City Council’s manager, compliance monitoring, believes that it is for this very reason that the new legislation and enforcement programme were introduced.

“We are always concerned for the safety of the officers and treat incidences such as this very seriously,” says Mr Smedts. “It clearly illustrates the safety concerns associated with irresponsible dog ownership and the need for owners to confine their dogs to a property or ensure they are under appropriate control when in public spaces.

“I think the public and law-abiding dog owners are fed up with a minority flouting the law. People need to realise that if they choose to own a dog there are certain rules and regulations they must follow. If they don’t obey those rules, they have to realise the consequences.”

The council will continue to investigate non-compliant areas around the city with the aim of increasing the number of registered dogs and improving public safety.

The 2004 registration process is due to start in May when the almost 19,000 registered dog owners will receive their registration renewal packs. Owners that haven’t registered their dogs should phone the Auckland City call centre on (09) 379 2020.

Ends

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