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Call to Scrap Dog Rego Renewed!

It SHOULD GO, like TV Licence

Since Christchurch local body politician and double-bulldog owner John Stringer’s call, back in February, for the Dog Rego to be scrapped, new research has backed his claim it does nothing to prevent dog attacks but simply taxes good dog owners.

Ministry of Health figures published in the New Zealand Medical Journal by Dr Zachary Moaveni, find dog bites increased from 9 cases per 100,000 to 12 per 100,000 2004-2014 and children under 10 were most likely to be attacked. The study concluded the 2013 Dog Control amendment "was not working”

A report published this week citing teams of surgeons and emergency department staff, explained 5000 people were hospitalised due to dog bites in ten years in NZ "prompting calls for changes to be made to New Zealand's "ineffective" legislation.” 4958 attacks, an average of more than one a day.

Several recent Christchurch dog attacks on people, their dogs, and a two-year-child (Jan 30th, three separate incidents within 24 hours; 19th Feb. two people hurt) demonstrate dog registration makes no difference.

Long time dog owner and Papanui community board member John Stringer wants Council to consider dropping the dog registration charges, like the archaic TV license, by a simple amendment to the Dog Control Policy and Bylaws within Christchurch under the Dog Control Act 1996.

“Attacks are usually by unrestrained unregistered animals that are inappropriately fenced,“ he said. “Funding Dog Control should be via fines on offenders rather than subsidised by law-abiding Grandma with a bishon frise who does register and fence her dog in line with Council bylaws, but gets little in return.

“A number of reports over recent years show even working couples on two incomes continue to struggle to make ends meet –the 'working poor.' This is due to incremental rises in levies, taxes-by-stealth, and bureaucratic registration fees, that wages have not kept pace with,” John Stringer said.

“If our council is about 'well-ness,’ why not start to comprehensively roll back some local charges. Dropping the dog-licensing rego. would be a start in line with Council’s pioneering of the “Living Wage.”

“All the dog license does is tax good dog owners...law-abiding Grandma with a bishon frise...Cat-owners are not taxed in this way.

“All the dog license does is tax good dog owners for little to nothing in return. Cat-owners are not taxed in this way. Gangs and homeless dog owners rarely bother to license, and there are few consequences. Why should long-suffering dog-owners subsidise them year after year?

"The registration fee for two dogs in Christchurch is $228.00 per annum and the fine for being unregistered would be $600 ($300 per dog). Total fees would be $828.00. That’s huge to a retiree on a fixed income –a predominant demographic in my Papanui ward. Many elderly have dogs.

“None of the dog-owners I know, understand how we benefit from the annual charge. We have a Council funded dog-park, but most of us use and socialise our dogs in the many community parks. It costs about $1700 p.a to care properly for a dog (NZ Companion Animal Council, 2015)."

“Like the old TV license, I would like to encourage Council to scrap dog registration locally. In this instance LESS would be more. It would help many pay their huge rates hikes."

Average City Dog Rego. Fees

Christchurch $82 - 171.00

Marlborough $60-135

Dunedin $51-154

Hamilton: $80 - 247.00

Wellington: $61 - 257.00

Whanganui $120

New Plymouth $155.


ends

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