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Dog Owners Group Slams Bill

Dog Owners Group Slams Bill

Dog Inc. representing more than 300 dog owners in Auckland has slammed the proposed new dog legislation as negative, discriminatory and unnecessarily punitive towards law abiding, responsible dog owners.

“An identification of all dogs as inherently dangerous and the majority of dog owners as irresponsible merely encourages the cult of aggression amongst those who wish to identify and breed these animals as fighting machines. That defeats the whole purpose of this legislation.”

Dog Inc President Dr Cathy Casey said today that the Committee of the Society had spent many hours formulating a strong submission opposing the Bill.

“We believe that the Bill is bad law – pure and simple. It has been hastily drafted in an emotive response to a specific and certainly savage attack on a child in an Auckland City park around 10 o'clock in the evening. To change the way of life for all responsible dog owners as a result of that attack is just not acceptable to us. ”

Dr Casey says there is a basic failure in the Bill to differentiate between the actions of a few dangerous dogs and the majority of animals, which are well cared for well-behaved and much loved family pets.

“Dog Inc. believes that the current legislation is sufficient, provided it is uniformly enforced and provided provision is made by the Auckland City Council for adequate off-leash exercise areas. Right now, neither of those things is happening. First there are “no go areas” in Auckland where animal control officers fear to tread. It is responsible dog owners with their dogs off leash in parks that are the easy targets. Second, until the review of dog exercise areas is complete many previously used parks are now off limits to owners who wish to exercise their dogs off leash. ”

Dr Casey says Dog Inc. has made a number of positive suggestions in its submission (which can be viewed on the Dog Inc. website http:// http://www.dog.org.nz )

“Instead of introducing draconian legislation which will alienate responsible dog owners, it’s time that there was genuine consultation with registered dog owners and a survey of their needs. Many dogs live in families. Banning of dogs from public areas effectively bans dog-owning families from those areas. We believe it is time to acknowledge the importance of a dog in the lives of many families and individuals.”

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