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Farmers Consider Options

28 March 2006
Farmers Consider Options

Farmers are looking at a range of options including protest action following the government saying it would press ahead with microchipping all dogs, said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

“Federated Farmers has today been inundated with emails and phone calls from farmer members, non-members and other rural people wanting the Federation to continue the fight to stop this ridiculous law,” Mr Pedersen said.

“The tenor of these emails and calls is one of extreme disappointment. They say the government’s decision symbolises a lack of appreciation of the farming business.

“Two months ago the government raised farmers’ hopes that a solution was possible, but instead Cabinet yesterday rejected an exemption and shut the door on any compromise solution.

“Today the Federation’s chief executive and myself met with Federated Farmers’ policy, advocacy and communications staff to explore our options,” said Mr Pedersen. “The key outcome was that the Federation has not given up the fight to convince the government that microchipping is idiotic law,” Mr Pedersen said.

“The options will be discussed at a Federation board meeting and in a series of teleconference calls between the board and the Federation’s 24 provincial presidents in April,”Mr Pedersen said.

“I have no doubt that our members expect we will discuss some sort of highly visible protest action, both local and national,” Mr Pedersen said.

Federated Farmers vigorously opposes the microchipping provisions of the Dog Control Amendment Act. Microchipping working dogs is of no benefit to the community, working dogs or working dog owners. It will not stop dog attacks but instead increase the number of irresponsible dog owners who don’t register their dogs.

The estimated cost of microchipping rural dogs has been put at $3 million to $7 million a year – a cost that the export sector cannot pass on to consumers.

“Farm dogs are not just a pet or a discretionary item. They are an important and essential part of a farm business,” Mr Pedersen said. “Microchipping is an example of the worst legislation – costs imposed without any benefit.


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