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Dog Owners Group Opposes New Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4 September 2003


Dog Owners Group Opposes New Law

CALL FOR FAIRER ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING DOG CONTROL LAWS


A delegation from DOG (Dog Owners Group) representing 600 Auckland dog owners today spoke strongly against the new dog bill and called for uniformity in policing of the current dog control legislation.

Dr Cathy Casey (DOG President)
“Remember many – if not most - dogs are part of a families. When you ban dogs, you are effectively banning families.”

“Why are you making new legislation when you do not have accurate statistics on dog attacks and have not attempted to survey registered dog owners?”

“Present legislation is not being enforced fairly in Auckland. There are ‘no-go’ areas presently for Dog Control and the Mayor will confirm this. It is registered dog owners that are the easy targets for the dog wardens’ $200 tickets.”

“What is needed is not more laws, but a public education programme. Responsible dog owners will be happy to co-operate in any positive, constructive programmes.”

Patricia Prchal (DOG Committee member)
“I am a grandmother and a typical responsible dog owner. My children own dogs. You should be encouraging responsible dog ownership, not punishing us with these new draconian measures.

“I’ve been all over Auckland doing social work, calling on houses unannounced. Only twice have I avoided a property because of way a dog looked or sounded. I have never been bitten.”

Neil Harker (DOG Membership Secretary)
“You get your dog bite statistics from ACC. But these included ‘dog bites’ actually include cat bites, horse bites, ferret bites all under dog bites.

“Auckland dog control can tell you could tell what tyre a dog peed on but not whether a bite occurred on private property or public property.”

Jenny Irving (DOG Secretary)
“I am concerned at the punitive nature of this law and the limitation of the
courts’ discretion on punishments to "exceptional circumstances". That could
mean a two-month old puppy having to be put down for nipping : because it
wasnt an "exceptional circumstance". The Judge would have no discretion.”

“I am also concerned that a dog ‘rushing’ or ‘startling’ is open to subjective interpretation.”

To view full submission by DOG visit www.dog.org.nz

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