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Dog control proposals supported by committee

14 October 2003 Media Statement

Dog control proposals supported by committee

The Government's key proposals to improve dog control have been supported by recommendations from the Local Government and Environment select committee tabled in Parliament today, Local Government Minister Chris Carter said.

"The select committee has clearly recognised that a desire to improve public safety was at the heart of the Government's proposals for tightening dog control," Mr Carter said.

"The committee has refined the proposals after hearing a significant number of public submissions on a controversial and complex issue. Broadly speaking, those changes the committee has recommended appear to be positive. I will look at them in detail and discuss them with my parliamentary colleagues shortly."

Mr Carter said one notable change recommended by the committee was to the requirement that all dog owners have a securely fenced area for their dog allowing unimpeded access to at least one door from July 2006.

"The select committee has decided that all dog owners must ensure their dog cannot freely leave their property but it has suggested retaining the 'unimpeded access' provision only for dogs declared dangerous.

"In putting the original proposal before the select committee I wanted to see the public safety risks of roaming dogs, guard dogs and territorial dogs debated. They have been extensively and I understand why the committee has sought to make this change.

"Its recommendation will enable dog owners to use a variety of methods, including fencing, to confine their dog to their property. The point is they must do so. People collecting for charity will remain safe from the worst dogs when knocking on someone's door."

Mr Carter said the select committee had also opted to require microchipping for dangerous and menacing dogs only.

"Partial microchipping carries many of the costs of full microchipping but delivers a more limited benefit. We need to look at that. I will be discussing it with my parliamentary colleagues.

"The Government's original proposal would not have affected a single registered dog alive today. It was confined to dogs registered for the first time from 2006," Mr Carter said.

He said the Government hoped to have the amendments to the Dog Control Act 1996 passed in to law by Christmas.


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