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.

January 27, 2010

Maulings spark call to train dog owners

Animal experts are urging improved education of dog owners form a major part of the Government's review on dog controls.

I'm glad they are listening to me!

(...)

A review of dog laws will begin in July, but Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said last year it will not be heavily influenced by the emotions surrounding high-profile individual dog attacks.

That's why National Party gave the dog portfolio to Mr Hide.

A spokesman for Mr Hide said the minister did not want the review to be reactive.

"We want to look at things in an objective, reasonable manner. Recent and subsequent dog attacks will be taken into account, but are only one factor."

gee, some common sense!

When the review was announced in October, Mr Hide said legislation was an "onerous muddle", and too much of it was created through emotion after dog maulings.

Yes, I was there when he said this.

He said the review needed to find a balance between public demands and owners' responsibilities, and he hoped councils would emphasise freedom, not restriction, in dog laws.

The problems are compounded when you put dogs on short leads, behind high fences. It's creates the very problems that we are trying to solve.

Jason Gardiner, a security guard who helped with the pickup of the Staffordshire crosses in Taneatua, said education was key to the review.

"You can't blame the breed, or ban certain breeds of dog, it just doesn't work. These animals had not had enough contact with people, and became defensive when they saw a new child. Dog owners need education." That's what I said too.

And have I got the Bite Prevention Programme for you!

New Zealand Kennel Club spokesman Phil Lyth said the Government's review needed more urgency - the association wanted it to be finished this year instead of next.

Mr Lyth supported National Party MP Simon Bridges' draft for a private member's bill which called for tougher penalties for wilful ill-treatment of animals. "Ill-treatment of animals can include the sort of neglect which leads to attacks on humans - it's not dissimilar territory."

Fat dogs can also be considered 'neglect' for the animal's welfare too. But hey, ... fat dogs can't attack.

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