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Greens exhaust options to oppose microchipping

21 June 2006

Greens exhaust options to oppose microchipping

The Green Party has tabled six amendments to the Local Government Reform Bill in a final effort to find cross-party support for the repeal of compulsory microchipping.

"We have used every parliamentary opportunity open to us to change this law," Green Party Musterer Metiria Turei says.

"Our Private Member's Bill to scrap microchipping for all but dangerous and menacing dogs failed by only one vote. We successfully made changes to the Local Government Reform Bill at the select committee, gaining the support of the National Party. And now, in the last hours of the debate, we have tabled six amendments in a final attempt to find a mechanism that United Future might support.

"Yesterday's plea from Federated Farmers Waikato and the New Zealand Kennel Club is completely in line with the Green position - they understand that the principled position is to oppose the compulsory microchipping of not just working farm dogs, but all dogs except those identified as dangerous or menacing.

"Our primary amendment is the same as our Private Member's Bill and the changes we achieved in select committee.

"Our other amendments are aimed at least improving the situation for dog owners. One of our amendments removes the outrageous $3000 fine that an owner will face if they don't microchip their dog. We would keep the fine for owners of dangerous or menacing dogs, so perhaps United Future could at least support the change to remove this unjust burden from responsible dog owners.

"Other amendments include changing the date when the changes come into force and providing an exemption mechanism for all dog owners.

"Of course our main hope is that our primary amendment will be supported. One more vote is all we need, and I sincerely hope that later today just one more MP will see that this proposal is the right option," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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