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Councils supported to manage microchipping

22 June 2006

Councils supported to manage microchipping exemption

Associate Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta said today the government is working closely with councils to clarify a last-minute exemption to microchipping requirements for working farm dogs.

Parliament last night voted to exclude working farm dogs from microchipping, following an 11th hour backtrack by a majority of the Green Party.

“Microchipping requirements still apply to dangerous or menacing dogs, and dogs registered for the first time after July 1 – but now with the exception of working farm dogs," Ms Mahuta said.

"The challenge for local councils now will be to accurately verify what is in fact a farm working dog – which as defined under the Dog Control Act 1996, is any dog kept solely or principally for the purposes of herding or driving stock.

"The National Party’s exemption is likely to create extra costs and administration for councils. Notwithstanding that, we're committed to working with councils to ensure that the transition to microchipping – with exemptions – is as manageable as possible."

Ms Mahuta said among measures being implemented to support councils is the provision of information sheets to explain their obligations under the new exemption.

"Local councils have already been preparing for the introduction of microchipping since it was originally voted into law by Parliament in 2003. The majority of dogs, mainly newly-registered puppies, will still be microchipped as planned over time despite this exemption.

"There is still a lot of misinformation being perpetuated about microchipping –which is not helpful to moving forward now that debate over microchipping provisions has been resolved. Let me remind people that microchipping does not apply to any existing dog that is registered currently – unless classified as dangerous or menacing," Nanaia Mahuta said.

ENDS

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