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Councils Asked to Ignore Dog Law

2 June 2006
Councils Asked to Ignore Dog Law

Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) is calling on all councils to ignore the microchipping rules in the Dog Control Amendment Act, or at the very least place enforcement at the lowest priority.

“Ignoring the law is the most effective way at this late stage for councils to convince the government that microchipping has no support, and must be repealed,” said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand. Mr Pedersen made the call at an anti-microchipping rally during the national sheep dog trials in Omarama.

“Microchipping will do nothing to improve public safety. It will not stop dog attacks but instead result in more owners choosing not to register their dogs, especially those owned by irresponsible people.”

Councils are required to police the new law, which from next month requires all dogs first registered to be microchipped.

“We do not believe that asking councils to ignore this law will encourage public civil disobedience. Councils are often left to interpret laws as they see fit. Ignoring the requirement for microchipping, or, at the very least, placing enforcement as a low priority, will send the government a clear message that compulsory microchipping is worthless law.

“It is difficult to find support for microchipping outside Parliament and the vets. The SPCA, the New Zealand Kennel Club, and the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trials Association have publicly said they oppose compulsory microchipping.

“Federated Farmers has been working for more than two years to overturn the microchipping rules. We have tried repeatedly to convince the government but it has stubbornly refused to see reason.

“Microchipping is not the most important issue confronting farmers, but it is another example of the worst legislation – legislation with very little support, is almost impossible to police, and imposes costs for no benefit to the public. Federated Farmers will continue the fight.

“Some councils have already said they will put enforcement as a low priority. Others have, like Federated Farmers, been lobbying the government for the law to be scrapped,” Mr Pedersen said.

This would happen if United Future or New Zealand First tipped the balance in Parliament to vote with National, Act, Green Party and Maori Party to repeal microchipping.

Encouragingly, United Future opposed microchipping of all dogs two years ago, but this year did a policy U-turn to side with Labour and New Zealand First.

Today’s event was organised by Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) and the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association.

ENDS

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