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"Stay Dog Safe this Summer" campaign launched

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Assoc Minister of Local Government

7 November 2006 Media Statement

"Stay Dog Safe this Summer" campaign launched

Keeping families, especially children, safe around dogs is the focus of a public education and advertising campaign launched today by Associate Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

Announcing the Stay Dog Safe This Summer campaign at Te Aro School, Wellington, Nanaia Mahuta said ensuring public safety around dogs was an important part of the Labour-led government's commitment to building safer families and communities.

"Incidents between people and dogs are far more likely to happen in the summer months, when they are both are out and about and more likely to run into each other," Nanaia Mahuta said.

"People may be surprised to know that a majority of incidents involving people and dogs happen around the home, and often involve the pets of family or friends, which shows that any dog – no matter how familiar or well-trained – has the potential to bite.

“However, many dog attacks are preventable if people know how to behave around dogs, and children especially need to be very careful. That’s why we’re launching this campaign now. The Government wants to ensure the greatest possible enjoyment and safety for families, dogs and owners during summer."

The public education campaign is just one of the Government’s initiatives to improve public safety around dogs, which also includes measures such as tougher penalties for irresponsible dog owners, microchipping identification and the National Dog Database.

The campaign involves print and website advertising targeting parents of children aged 0-14. The ads feature nine dog safety tips for children, including always asking permission before approaching a strange dog, and to only pat dogs on their chin or chest. The tips were taken from The Dog Box, a dog safety teaching resource distributed to all New Zealand schools in October 2005.

“This campaign is an important part of our work to promote public safety around dogs, and gives people the tools they need to act in ways that will help keep them and their children safe,” Nanaia Mahuta said.


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