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Parliament must act on dog Bill

Parliament must act on dog Bill

The National Party's Dr Paul Hutchison is calling for political support to ensure a bill that would toughen up on dangerous dogs is taken off the Order Paper and debated in Parliament.

"If nothing's done, parents will be reluctant to take children to public playgrounds," the Port Waikato MP says.

"The serious attacks on children this year should be proof enough that Parliament must act quickly.

"The Local Government law reform (No2) Dog Control Amendment Bill has been on the order paper for 3 years," said Dr Hutchison.

"The fact that private members bills on dog control have come from both sides of the house means there should be multi-party support for change.

"Dog owners need to exercise more individual responsibility. That means dogs with dangerous traits must be securely contained at home, when out they must be on leads and muzzled, and they must be registered and the owners licensed.

"Dog control officers must be given greater powers to impound and if necessary destroy dogs.

"The importation of dangerous dogs, their semen or embryos, must be banned.

"And the penalties for failing to comply with these tough new regulations must be substantially increased," says Dr Hutchison.

"A dog attack is every parents worst nightmare, yet most attacks are preventable.

"The Government and Parliament must demonstrate they can act together to ensure the legislation is passed," Dr Hutchison says.

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