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National changes to be introduced for dog-owners

4 April 2006

National changes to be introduced for dog-owners

Christchurch dog-owners will have all their details recorded on a National Dog Database and some dog-owners may have to micro-chip their dogs, following Government law changes that become effective on 1 July, 2006.

The new law follows media attention in the last few years to dog attacks and dangerous dogs, and aligns with a Government decision that a national approach to recording dogs and their owners provides a more consistent and effective control of dogs. It also allows easier identification and tracking of dangerous and menacing dogs.

To do this the Government has introduced the following key changes, which must be in place by 1 July, 2006:

- a new National Dog Database (NDD) which records dog owners’ full details, including the date of birth and full details of each dog, and

- the micro-chipping of some dogs – whether they are working dogs or domestic pets. The definition used for “working dogs” is defined by the Dog Control Act 1996.

These micro-chips, which are as big as a grain of rice and about as painless as an injection, will be implanted in dogs to International Standards Organisation requirements by trained micro-chip inserters. This includes all dogs registered for the first time on or after 1 July 2006, all dogs classified as dangerous and menacing on or after 1 December 2003, and dogs that are impounded for a second time, prior to their release from the dog shelter.

The micro-chip number will be recorded on the Christchurch City Council’s dog register then loaded onto the NDD with all the dog’s other details.

The Department of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the New Zealand Kennel Association has agreed on an approved list of dog breeds and colours that all registered dogs must comply with for NDD requirements.

Mixed, mongrel or unknown breed types can no longer be accepted. All dogs must be identified by their primary and or secondary breed, and the nearest approved colour, e.g. a Labradoodle is not an approved breed, but the primary breed is Labrador Retriever and secondary breed is poodle.

Those dog-owners wishing to make a submission to get their dog breed listed, will be given information on how to do this when they next register their dog.

All Christchurch dog-owners (including Banks Peninsula) will receive a newsletter about the changes and what they must do to meet all new legal requirements.

For now the Council is considering setting up places and times in the run-up to the 1 July statutory deadline (for dangerous and menacing dogs), where trained micro-chip inserters will micro-chip dogs. Other such opportunities will likely be made available for other dog-owners.

Any dog-owners affected by the new law who are found after 1 July, 2006, with a dog that is not micro-chipped will be reminded of their legal obligation to comply and may be issued with an infringement notice and face prosecution, if they ignore these warnings.

ENDS


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