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Public have their say on dog issues

26 July 2004

Public have their say on dog issues

Auckland City has received 342 submissions in response to the draft dog policy and draft dog control bylaw that was out for consultation between 13 June and 13 July 2004.

The majority of submissions were from dog owners and were received from eight of the nine community boards, the dog owners group (DOG) representing 700 members, the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society, the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) as well as many members of the general public.

Some of the major issues raised in the submissions included: wanting clarification of definitions such as 'a beach'; 'on leash' and 'control' limitations on the number of dogs allowed concern about dogs being prohibited from Kohimarama and St Heliers beaches at all times ensuring ecological and archaeological areas are protected from damage by dogs concern about the second schedule of the bylaw requiring dogs, when permitted on beaches, to be on a leash at all times.

Additionally, there was widespread community interest on the issue of dog exercise areas. The need to keep dogs, whether on a leash or not, away from children's playgrounds was widely endorsed in submissions. Although the majority of areas were accepted some were seen as being too small or not suitable.

There was also some support for ensuring a number of parks are designated as free from dogs allowing people fearful of dogs certainty and peace of mind. Additionally, a number of new dog exercise areas were suggested for consideration.

Strongly worded submissions were received from 140 submitters for the dog control bylaw provisions on Waiheke to remain unchanged. The proposed changes that caused the most concern included the times that dogs were prohibited on beaches and the requirement to have dogs on-leash when on the beach outside the prohibited hours.

A hearing looking at the submissions starts on Monday 2 August and those submitters that have requested time to speak will be heard. All people who indicated they wished to be heard will receive a report to the hearing panel that includes a summary of the submissions made, plus a copy of the policy and bylaw that is being discussed.

After the hearing and deliberations, recommendations on amendments to the bylaw and policy will go to the council.

In accordance with the Dog Control Amendment Act 2003 Auckland City must review the dog control policy by 1 September 2004, and the new bylaw must come into effect within 60 days of that date.

All 342 submissions can be viewed at all public libraries from 26 July 2004.

ENDS

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