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National doggedly persists with code myth

9 August 2005

National doggedly persists with code myth

The only thing more reprehensible than telling a lie is perpetuating one, says Associate Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor.

His comment follows Dr Nick Smith's insistence on dragging out a false claim that the government's involved with a new dog code.

"As I've already said, Dr Smith is talking about a code that's still in its most draft form. It hasn't come anywhere near the Minister yet and won't for some time.

"Clearly he's realised what a fool he's made of himself, and is trying to cover up with his talk of a preface to the code written by Jim Sutton. Well, he's only digging himself deeper, because the preface is a stock standard draft introduction from the Minister that precedes every animal welfare code.

"I repeat what I said yesterday - the Minister is yet to see the code, and it's still to go through two rounds of consultation and probably many changes. The code will only come before the Minister once NAWAC has recommended it and that is some time away – NAWAC hasn't even seen it yet! Dr Smith should know this, given his party passed the Act in the first place, but he's clearly intent on playing petty games.

"This is blatant electioneering; if National was in government, the exact same process would be followed, because that is what's required by the Act. It is grossly misleading to be criticising a process that's barely underway.

"The government has nothing to do with the process at this stage, but I would take this opportunity to recommend that all parties involved with the drafting of the code work together constructively to come up with robust and reasonable standards."


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