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Parliamentary debate welcomed on two dog issues

New Zealand Kennel Club Inc

Te Runanga Matua, Take Kuri o Aotearoa

Media Release 4 May 2006

Parliamentary debate welcomed on two dog issues

NZ Kennel Club, the organisation of responsible dog owners, welcomes the news that two Members Bills to amend the Dog Control Act were drawn from the ballot today. Jeanette Fitzsimons’ bill would cancel microchipping requirements, and Sandra Goudie’s would provide for epilepsy assistance dogs in a similar way to guide dogs for the blind.

The organisation says the ideal solution to dangerous dogs is education and licencing of owners – not licencing and microchipping of all individual dogs.

“The NZ Kennel Club welcomes the news that compulsory microchipping of dogs will receive further Parliamentary scrutiny. We have never accepted the argument that microchipping will stop bad owners allowing their dogs to attack people,” said Lesley Chalmers, president of the NZ Kennel Club.

“We have never been 100% in support of compulsory microchipping nor agreed with all the claimed benefits.

The NZ Kennel Club initially gave its guarded support for compulsory microchipping on the basis that microchips will give further integrity to the register of purebred dogs and would provide considerable welfare benefits in reuniting stolen dogs with their owners.

“We congratulate Sandra Goudie on succeeding after two years of having her bill in the ballot. Dogs assist New Zealanders in all sorts of ways, not just the blind, and it is important the contribution be recognised in law,” said Mrs Chalmers.

The NZ Kennel Club has consistently said:

- We see value in microchipping to provide certainty of identity and so add integrity to the register of purebred dogs in New Zealand.

- We do not agree that a microchip will stop any dog attack

- There is no reason to have two classes of dogs

- We support any move that will, in reality, improve the lot of dogs and responsible owners

- We support any move that will, in reality, improve the safety of the community.

- We support any move that will, in reality, improve the chances of prosecution and penalties against irresponsible people.


ENDS

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