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Fence farm dogs in .... not a chance

David Carter National Agriculture Spokesperson

16 April 2003

Fence farm dogs in .... not a chance

National says the Government's proving, again, it's out of touch with rural New Zealand if it's expecting farmers to fence off homesteads to keep farm dogs shut away from visitors. Included in the raft of changes to dog control laws is a bid to have all dogs, other than working dogs, "securely fenced or similarly contained in a portion of their owner's property, so that visitors have unimpeded access to at least one door."

"But there's no mention in this proposed legislation of farm dogs, the country's greatest working dog, and the Local Government Minister is making no move to clear up the confusion around what's classed a 'working dog'," says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"While the Minister's latest amendments refer to police dogs and those used by government agencies, he obviously doesn't know that a farm dog is an integral part of a farming business.

"Any farmer will tell you it's ridiculous to suggest "containing" farm dogs at all times to keep them out of the way of visitors.

"It's not surprising that a Government made up of academics and unionists has little idea how a farm functions, but the issue of working dogs and farm dogs should have been clearly dealt with in the early stages of this legislation.

"The fact it's been overlooked is just another example of this Government's, and the Agriculture Minister's, indifference towards representing the country's farmers," says David Carter.


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