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Dog control laws must be properly enforced

Dog control laws must be properly enforced

The National Party is supporting new laws on dog control, but says the challenge now is to bring the laws in quickly and make sure they are properly enforced across the country.

"There must be uniformity in the enforcement of these new laws, which give a lot of discretion to local authorities. Irresponsible dog owners should be treated the same where-ever they live," says National MP Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The whole focus of the new laws must be on owner responsibility.

"There are still important issues to be resolved around working dogs and how the new compliance costs will impact on the rural sector. It's absurd to suggest that farm houses be fenced off to keep farm dogs under control. There needs to be a reasonable balance.

"It has taken a long time for the Government to take this issue seriously enough. National has been calling for the Local Government Reform Bill to be given greater priority, even before the horrific attack on Carolina Anderson.

"National will be closely following the implementation of these reforms to make sure there are no more delays. Every year there are 700 hospitalisations required because of dog attacks," said Dr Hutchison.

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