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Dog aggression trends towards biting the dust


14 September 2006

Dog aggression trends towards biting the dust

Auckland City’s stance on dog control is paying dividends with reports of dog aggression falling for the fifth year in a row.

The council received a total of 553 notifications of dogs biting people, dogs challenging people, or dogs biting other dogs or animals in the year to 31 June 2006.

That’s a 15 per cent decrease on the previous year and a 51 per cent reduction on the number of reported incidents five years ago in the year to 31 June 2002.

The chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Glenda Fryer, says the statistics show that council’s efforts to reign-in aggressive dogs are working.

“The council has been striving to address the problem of aggressive dogs and our approach is clearly having an impact in protecting people and animals from dangerous or menacing dogs.”

In the 05/06 year, the council, through its contractor Animal Control Services Limited, has sought to curb dog aggression by:

 classifying 239 dogs as menacing because of their breed or actions

 classifying 37 dog owners as probationary or disqualified

 issuing 190 infringement notices to the owners of menacing dogs who failed to neuter their animals or muzzle them in public

 prosecuting owners over 12 dog attacks

 issuing infringement notices for those who do not register their dogs.

The council has also cooperated with the police in operations to target unregistered and threatening dogs in Otahuhu, Mt Wellington, Mt Roskill and Avondale. In all cases, infringement notices were issued against owners who had not registered their dogs.

Ms Fryer says the council has boosted efforts to ensure dogs are registered by visiting more than 2,700 households to check that dogs are registered.

“Dog registration is an extremely effective tool that can help us to educate dog owners, closely monitor dangerous dogs and track lost dogs.

“The council is pleased that dog owners have responded well and in the year to 31 June 2006 we had nearly 18,500 registered dogs in the city.”

The council’s dog control staff have also boosted efforts to educate dog owners and the general public about safe dog handling.

They regularly hold sessions in schools, attend dog-related events, and provide training sessions for those who regularly come into contact with dogs, such as post office staff.


Note to Editors: In September 2004, the council introduced new dog control measures, including 24/7 animal control services, a targeted approach to problem dogs and their owners, a new warning system and an increased focus on education of dog owners and the general public.

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