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Dog Bylaws in spotlight

Dog Bylaws in spotlight

Waitakere City residents can have their say on proposed new dog bylaws from 14 June. The submission period remains open for just over a month, closing on 19 July

New bylaws became essential with the introduction last year of an amendment to the Dog Control Act. As a result Councils throughout the region have developed new bylaws which as far as possible, are similar from one council to the next.

The Dog Control Amendment Act has introduced stringent rules for dogs that are considered menacing, and severe penalties for owners whose dogs injure people.

Brazilian Fila, Togo Argentino, Japanese Tosa or American Pit Bull Terrier are automatically considered menacing and individual dogs can be considered menacing if their behaviour warrants it. Such dogs must be very strictly controlled. Councils will be able to impose fines of up to $1000. Court fines can impose fines of up to $20,000 and up to three years’ jail for the owner of a dog causing serious injury.

“Waitakere City supports any measure that will make the city a safer place for people – especially children. The new bylaw also includes a welfare policy that requires owners to provide for the animal’s safety, comfort, company and wellbeing. Neglect, abuse and bad ownership will create a bad dog,” says Councillor Annette Fenton.

“For this reason Waitakere City has always placed a great emphasis on rewarding people who get their dogs registered, have attended courses in dog ownership, take their dog to obedience classes and provide good homes for their pets,” she says.

The proposed policy includes a requirement from July 2006 for all new dogs to be micro-chipped.

Any person or organisation may make a submission to all or any part of the proposed policy or proposed bylaw in writing to the Group Manager Strategic Planning & Policy, Waitakere City Council, Private Bag 93 109, Henderson. Submission forms are available from Civic Centre, 6 Waipareira Avenue, Henderson and all Waitakere City Libraries or from the website www.waitakere.govt.nz or by phoning the Call Centre on 839 0400

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