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Minister In Denial Over Dog Costs

11 August 2005

PR 117/05

Minister In Denial Over Dog Costs

The government must face up to the fact that its new compulsory microchipping rules will create massive new compliance costs, said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

His comments follow the Minister of Local Government dismissing statements that compulsory microchipping of dogs will create massive new costs.

"The minister has consistently claimed that the cost of microchipping will be between $12 and $20. However, this is just the cost of the microchip and does not include charges for insertion and registration on a national database.

"The true cost - chip insertion and data registration - is likely to be more than $50 and could be as high as $110 a dog.

"There are 250,000 farm dogs in New Zealand. Some shepherds might have 10 or 15 dogs. Minister, do the math. We are talking massive compliance costs for individual farmers.

"This is massive in the context that compulsory microchipping will achieve nothing. It will not stop dogs attacking. It will not help identify owners of dogs that attack people. It is also in the context that farm dogs are not the dogs causing problems.

"Tellingly, all owners of all dogs that attacked people in recent years have been identified. The reality is that most dog bites involve the dog's owner or his or her immediate family.

"In two of the three reported deaths following a dog attack in New Zealand, the deceased person was the dog's owner and in the other case it was the child of the dog's owner.

"Federated Farmers calls on the government to reconsider its flawed microchipping law," Mr Pedersen said.


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