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Don't Kill Safe Family Pets

Don't Kill Safe Family Pets

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks will today move an amendment to the proposed Dog Control Bill, to allow dog owners to rebut a presumption that a dog is dangerous just because it attacked a cat.

"Under the current and proposed laws, the judge has virtually no choice. Judges have complained that they have to destroy families' dogs," Mr Franks said.

"Very few dogs will not, at some time, attack a cat. Most dogs back off when the cat holds its ground, but conflict is the essence of the relationship between cats and dogs.

"Accordingly nearly every dog is at risk of compulsory destruction. Even very careful families will be unable to avoid a slip once or twice during their dog's time with the family.

"This means that the law may force a judge to order the killing of any family's pet - however innocuous - irrespective of the outcome of the `attack'.

"The destruction of dog should be a punishment for an irresponsible owner or a dangerous dog. A dog that attacks - or even bites - once is not necessarily dangerous, and may be no more likely to bite in future than any other dog," Mr Franks said.

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