Working farm dogs won't be microchipped, but it's "silly" that other dogs will be, says Federated Farmers president Charlie Pedersen. The fight for urban dog owners isn't over, he said.
An amendment to dog control legislation was last night passed in Parliament by 61 votes to 60, after four Green MPs made a shock decision to support National, ACT, the Maori Party and United Future in exempting farm dogs from microchipping.
"We are very pleased, obviously, that our dogs are exempted, but we originally set out to get all dogs exempted," Mr Pedersen said.
"Microchipping was never an answer to dog attacks." He said dog control officers need to be given greater powers to enter properties, seize and destroy dogs.
"As an organisation we (Federated Farmers) will lobby for our urban friends and for changes to dog regulation," he said.
"We had elderly women rolling up to our protests (against microchipping) with their chihuahuas. Poodles are no more likely to attack than domestic cats."
Mr Pedersen said he had even heard of moves toward microchipping cats, though he couldn't imagine what for. Well then, I think that I will need to have a word with Mr Pedersen...
He said there was a "level of bravery" shown by the four Green MPs - Keith Locke, Nandor Tanczos, Sue Bradford and Sue Kedgley - who voted against the Government. The Greens wanted microchipping scrapped, except for the most dangerous dogs. Yes well... I'm not sure how to 'think' about the Greens. They said they had a policy and they didn't stick to it. I just wonder about other policies and how much they actually are voting in the house to get votes out of the house.
Mr Tanczos said no one provided evidence that microchipping would prevent dog attacks and the Green MPs who changed tack did so for tactical reasons. "It's better to have an exemption for working (farm) dogs than no exemption at all." This sounds like their policy on cannabis. Well if we can't legalise it, well then, we'll allow them to issue tickets like fines. They miss the whole point of the whole debate!
Mr Tanczos said he tried to understand United Future's rationale for supporting the exemption for farm dogs only, but he couldn't figure it out. Because Nandor, he hates the Greens no matter what policy they put forward. He (or they) did it just to spite ya!
"The reality is that it will make the whole scheme unworkable. I think it will be very difficult to administer now, and that's good because it was bad legislation," he said.
"The attempt by Labour to play the small parties off against each other was ill-conceived and the Government has been embarrassed.
"It's actually bitten them."
However, Manawatu-Rangitikei Federated Farmers president Ruth Rainey said the Government has been saved from a lot of embarrassment as there would have been a significant non-compliance from day one.
"There would have been trouble down the track," she said. There still will be...
"A lot of the councils weren't a bit keen." except for those councils who have a strong Labour support
Mrs Rainey was heartened by how the Green MPs voted, saying they "appear to think about things more". Oh, piss off!
National's Rangitikei MP Simon Power said the result was an "extremely big defeat for the Government".
"Certainly, the surprise is more on the Government's side than ours."
Green party whip Metiria Turei, who along with co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons voted against the amendment, said the vote was a bittersweet victory for farmers.
"It's a terrible loss for the rest of New Zealand's dog owners. I'm very disappointed the rest of the country will pay for this technology. Yup, me too!
"Labour should really have understood the depth of feeling (against microchipping)." Ah, but they don't care what the people think... they have one thing in mind and they go for it.
Ms Turei said the issue won't cause division within the party. "We don't whip in quite the same way other parties do." She knew that some of the MPs would vote for the amendment, but didn't realise four of them would. Gee, don't ya talk to your party members?
"I'm not happy with the decision my MPs have made. Talk about a Greens embarrasement!!
"There's no justification for why grandma's poodle has to be microchipped but grandad's border collie does not. Neither of them should be." What's this with Grandma and Grandpa ?! Old people's dogs can be just as dangerous. Lots get Jack Russels which are yappie can be quite snarly. Of course, this is a generalisation, and we wouldn't want to do that!
If local government reform legislation passes its third reading in Parliament as expected today, microchipping of urban dogs will take effect from July 1. Urban dogs... great name for a website!