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Have your say about dogs

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Local Government

14 March 2008
Media Statement

Have your say about dogs

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, is urging people to make submissions about future dog control and public safety.

“People who are dog owners and those who are not dog owners have until the end of March to make their views known,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“Recent reports about marauding dogs bring home the fact that some dogs are a risk to people and a neighbourhood problem. It’s more important than ever for people to have their say on dog control in the future.

“We know that most dog owners are responsible, but we also know that it takes only a couple of dogs on the loose to cause a problem,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“The key to dog safety in our communities is good law, effective enforcement, community support for enforcement and responsible dog ownership.

Nanaia Mahuta released the discussion paper on options to improve dog control and public safety around dogs in December last year. Options include licensing owners, banning certain breeds because of their reputation, mandatory de-sexing of dogs in some circumstances, probationary ownership, dog containment and the destruction of dogs classified as dangerous.

"I’m already taking action to get high risk dogs out of the breeding population. A Bill before Parliament proposes that dogs of breeds or types classified as menacing must be neutered.,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“As well, individual dogs can be classified as menacing by councils. The neutering of these dogs won't be made mandatory, but councils will retain the power to require it. And the process for adding more breeds to the import ban (which results in councils classifying certain dogs as menacing) will also be simplified,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The discussion document Improving Public Safety Under the Dog Control Act 1996, Policy Options is on the Department of Internal Affairs website www.dia.govt.nz/dogcontrol.

You can fill out the on-line form on the website and email it to the Department or you can fill in the form in the discussion paper and post it to:

Improving Public Safety Under the Dog Control Act 1996
Options for Discussion
The Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington

Submissions close on Monday 31 March

ENDS

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