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Dunne: Dog law changes good 'as far as they go'

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Dunne: Dog law changes good 'as far as they go'

Changes to dog control laws announced today move in the right direction to protect the public from dangerous dogs, but there is still nobody monitoring whether they will reduce the incidence of dog attacks, warns UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne.

"I have long called for the compulsory neutering for dangerous dog breeds and I am very pleased that this has been adopted, as in time it should see the end of dangerous dog breeds in New Zealand.

"Pit-bull type dogs should also be added to this list of menacing dogs," says Mr Dunne.

However, the Government's own Cabinet Paper warns that 'There is little systematic information collected or monitored on the incidence and characteristics of dog attacks' and that 'it is therefore difficult to build an over-all picture of the effectiveness of the dog control regime'.

"The assurance from the Government to 'look at ways to improve data collection' is not reassuring. Simply, councils should be required by law to take information on every dog attack - collecting this information should be a priority," says Mr Dunne.

"The whole point of these changes is to reduce the number of people - and young children especially, who are victims of dog attacks. But no-one is accurately monitoring which dog breeds are attacking our children, or even how many attacks are happening and how severe they are.

"Neither policy makers nor the public have any way of knowing whether any changes are working or not.

"Without that information, today's proposals will only have a limited impact," says Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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