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Bylaw on Dogs supports responsible dog owners

12 October 2004

Policy and Bylaw on Dogs supports responsible dog owners

The Policy on Dogs 2004 and associated Dog Control Bylaw 2004 was adopted by Manukau City Council on 30 September. Changes to where dog owners can take their dog and to owner obligations commence on 26 November 2004. Council will advise all registered dog owners before that date.

The policy and bylaw supports responsible dog owners by continuing to allow them to exercise their dogs under control off-leash in most reserve, beach and foreshore areas. A code of conduct is to be developed to provide common sense advice to dog owners to identify and avoid risky situations.

Restrictions have been eased. From 26 November, owners will be able to control their dogs off-leash on popular beaches before 9.00am and after 7.00pm during daylight saving and at all times outside of daylight saving. They will still need to be controlled on a leash on all roads, shared driveways and be prohibited on playgrounds and marked sports fields. On-leash restrictions have been applied to certain bushwalks.

Off-leash areas include:

" Point View Reserve and Murphy's Bush Reserve (excluding bush walks where dogs must be controlled on-leash). " Totara Park on the bridle tracks, farm paddocks, connection to the Botanical Gardens and the grassed area east of the Wairere Road carpark. On-leash or prohibited restructions will apply to picnic areas, car parks and playgrounds.

On-leash areas include:

" Kiwi Esplanade Reserve and Rotary Walkway to Galloway Crescent access way.

For the first time, controls on land managed by the Auckland Regional Council and Department of Conservation are included. The northern portion of the Botanic Gardens will become a controlled off-leash area.

Council will be targeting irresponsible dog owners who fail to register their dog, allow them to roam, intimidate or bite people or animals, do not control their dog on a leash where required, allow their dog in a prohibited area, or fail to pick up faeces left by their dog. Council's animal management contractors will be enforcing dog owner obligations, including issuing $300 instant fines. Powers to immediately seize and impound unregistered dogs will be used and a new bylaw to require dog owners to carry a means to pick up their dog's faeces (e.g. a plastic bag) will be introduced.

Council's Manager of Clean Environment, Mohammed Hassan is pleased with the dog policy and associated dog control bylaw: "I would like to thank the large number of responsible dog owners for their submissions on the new policy and bylaw. The new policy and bylaw supports Manukau's responsible dog owners while working towards minimising danger, distress and nuisance from dogs to the general public.

"Adequately exercised dogs are less likely to cause a problem. Council's approach allows dog owners the freedom to use their good judgement while exercising their dog. If a dog owner is issued with an instant fine or has their dog impounded, they cannot say they are a responsible dog owner", says Mr Hassan.

Council will be writing to all registered dog owners to advise them of the new policy, bylaw and changes before they take effect on 26 November. Information can also be obtained from; Council's Call Centre, phone 262 5104, Citizen and Customer Centre, Kotuku House, Manukau Square, Manukau Libraries and Council's website www.manukau.govt.nz

ENDS

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