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Government Blows Opportunity

27 March 2006

Government Blows Opportunity

Farmers will not give up the fight to convince the government to exempt farm dogs from an idiotic law forcing all dogs to be microchipped, said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"Federated Farmers is very disappointed. Despite the federation offering many compelling reasons why farm dogs should be exempted, the government has chosen to base its policy on cliches and soundbites," Mr Pedersen said.

"Saying 'one law for all dogs' does not impress farmers. It is as vacuous as saying 'one tax for all New Zealanders' or 'one sentence for all criminals'. It is a shame that the government chooses to use spin rather than sound analysis.

"There are currently exemptions applied by councils to rural dogs, and New South Wales - the only state in Australia with compulsory chipping - has an exemption for farm dogs.

"The federation will certainly not be encouraging farmers to comply with the microchipping provisions of the Dog Control Amendment Act. We think the law will result in a high level of non-compliance - a sure sign of bad legislation. Does anyone remember the television licence?" Mr Pedersen said.

"The federation will not give up trying to convince the government. It is a shame that the government has blown a golden opportunity to reach out to rural communities," Mr Pedersen said.

"Microchipping dogs, especially farm dogs, is a waste of time and money. It will do nothing to lower the incidence of dog attacks.

"If farmers were to comply with this foolish legislation, more than 60,000 farm dogs would need to be chipped each year at a cost of $3-$7 million," Mr Pedersen said.

ENDS

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