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National defeats dog fencing laws

Dr Paul Hutchison National MP for Port Waikato

14 October 2003

National defeats dog fencing laws

National today welcomed the defeat of Government proposals to require all dog owners to provide a fenced off access to their front door.

"Chris Carter's idea on dog fencing was ridiculous. It would impose a huge cost on dog owners and councils and the major benefactors would be burglars. We are pleased to have lead and won the argument at the select committee," says National MP Dr Paul Hutchison.

Last night the Government backed down on Chris Carter's proposed amendments to the Local Government Reform Bill No 2, when it reported back to the Government Administration Select Committee on the Bill.

National MP Paul Hutchison says it was just as well the Government backed down. "All property owners, but farmers in particular, regarded Labour's law to require enormous and useless fencing requirements as particularly stupid," he said.

"There is no doubt that the emphasis on dog control should be on owner responsibility, education and targeting irresponsible owners," says Dr Hutchison. "It is high time that irresponsible dog owners are dealt with by increasing the fines, and allowing prison sentences where their dog has caused serious injury in an attack. Dog control officers also need more ability to pursue dangerous dogs on to land or premises after an attack.

"Territorial authorities must ensure that their dog control policies conform to best practice, and that they are enforced around the country.

"Over 700 people are hospitalised for dog attacks each year, the majority being children. We must drastically reduce these preventable tragedies by bringing in sensible laws to control dogs," says Dr Hutchison.

Ends

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