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Hunter fined for illegal dog-tracking devices

Media release

28 January 2015

Hunter fined for illegal dog-tracking devices

A Nelson man was fined $2,250 in the Nelson District Court yesterday for using illegal dog tracking equipment.

Dean Burke had earlier pleaded guilty to using unlicensed radiocommunications equipment and hunting unlawfully, after being found hunting in Pearse Valley, south of Motueka on 5 August 2014.

The sentencing judge also imposed court costs, and 70 hours community work for the illegal hunting charge.

This is the latest in a series of prosecutions of hunters for using illegal electronic collars and transmitters to track their dogs in the bush and over long distances.

In an earlier court case, another Nelson man was fined $30,000 in September 2014 for offences relating to the use and supply of this equipment.

Chris Brennan, Compliance Manager for MBIE’s Radio Spectrum Management group, says dog-tracking equipment from the United States often uses the 151-154 MHz range, which is the wrong radio frequency for New Zealand. The illegal equipment is known to interfere with other, licensed services.

“Radiotelephone services are used by people travelling and working in rural areas, for operational and safety communications, so any interference is a significant safety risk,” Mr Brennan says.

“MBIE actively pursues offenders and can prosecute people under the Radiocommunications Act 1989 and the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001 for supplying or using the illegal equipment.”

Mr Brennan says there’s now a range of dog-tracking gear available that is legal, works well in New Zealand conditions and doesn’t pose a risk to others.

“If hunters aren’t sure about whether a particular brand or model is legal here, we are always happy to provide advice,” Mr Brennan says.

If you are unsure whether you can use a particular radiocommunications product or frequency range, contact the Radio Spectrum compliance team at MBIE on free phone 0508 RSM INFO (0508 776 463) or by email at, or visit our website at


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