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Bill amendment to strengthen dog control

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Local Government
13 December 2007 Media Statement

Bill amendment to strengthen dog control

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the aim of the Dog Control Amendment Bill is to strengthen current dog control measures, and improve public safety around dogs.

After today’s first reading of the Dog Control Amendment Bill, Nanaia Mahuta said it would allow greater collaboration between central and local government, as well as build on current dog control laws.

“Safety around dogs depends on good law, effective enforcement by local councils, community support for the councils’ work and responsible dog ownership,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“This Labour-led government is keen to promote safer dog ownership, and we are already working towards this with the development of a number of initiatives, all of which are aimed at safety around dogs.

Among the changes highlighted in the Bill, is the way the law deals with menacing dogs, allowing flexibility for central government to introduce policy for councils to consider, and simplifying the process for adding further breeds to the list of restricted dogs.

Nanaia Mahuta says the key aim is to provide a level of balance on dog control measures without compromising the rights of responsible dog owners.

“The measures in this Bill are aimed at improving the existing legislation as part of a wider set of measures. It will also provide better ways to promote public safety and improve dog control,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta will soon release a discussion document on possible additional changes to the dog control system. Among the questions expected to be raised is whether more breeds should be restricted, and whether dogs classified as dangerous in future should be destroyed.

“The discussion document will be widely available and I strongly encourage people to think about the issues and make a submission,” said Nanaia Mahuta.


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