New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

March 23, 2006

Dog owners dodging bylaw

I just want to say at this time that Blogger has really pissed me off. I have commented on this article, and Blogger 'dropped' it... Arghhh!! I will comment again when I have more time ...

The Nelson City Council may have to back off from its tough stance on menacing dogs because a compulsory neutering requirement is driving them underground.
The council decreed two years ago that all menacing dogs in Nelson had to be neutered by the end of last year.
But Environmental Inspections manager Stephen Lawrence told the council's environment committee on Tuesday the rule was causing problems. Dog owners were not registering their animals in an attempt to avoid neutering them, he said.
The Government's Dog Control Act automatically classifies American pitbulls, dogo argentinos, Brazilian filas and Japanese tosas as menacing. The council can classify other dogs as menacing if they have exhibited behaviour that could pose a threat to people, stock or other animals.
In August last year, there were 51 registered menacing dogs in Nelson.
Mr Lawrence has suggested that the council review the neutering requirement in its dog control bylaw.
Neither the Tasman District Council nor the Marlborough District Council require menacing dogs to be neutered.
Speaking outside the meeting, Mr Lawrence said the number of registered menacing dogs had changed little since last year, but owners seemed unwilling to register dogs for the first time.
"Anecdotally ... the reluctance to have their dogs neutered is quite strong."
Dog lovers were critical of the requirement when it was imposed, saying it failed to address owner responsibility, which they said was the crux of dog control problems.
Other dog control measures seem to have been effective, however, with Mr Lawrence telling the meeting that figures during the past six months showed a 20 to 30 percent drop in complaints about aggressive dogs and dog attacks, and about a 20 percent drop in the number of dogs impounded.
New measures soon to be imposed, such as a national dog database and microchipping of dogs, have driven the cost of dog registration up, with the committee yesterday agreeing to a $5 increase in fees for most dogs.
Owners of dangerous dogs face a $7.50 hike, and a new $30 charge has been added for putting microchips in dogs that have been impounded.


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