Auckland Council’s Animal Management team is welcoming proposed changes to dog control laws.
The Government today announced a national action plan focussed on high-risk dogs and their owners. The programme plans to introduce stricter controls in an effort to combat reduce the risk of dog attacks.
“We’re thrilled with the proposed changes, which will go a long way towards helping us reduce dog-related harm in Auckland,” says Geoff Keber, Auckland Council Manager Animal Management.
“The evidence of harm caused by menacing dogs is overwhelming, so we’re very pleased to have worked with the government to address the issue.”
What changes mean for owners
With the new changes, expected to be introduced in February, owners of high-risk dogs will be required to:
- neuter all high-risk dogs
- keep high-risk dogs in a fenced in area at home that allows visitors dog-free access to at least one house entrance
- display signs at the front of their property alerting people of high-risk dogs
- ensure dangerous or menacing dogs wear collars identifying them as high-risk.
Animal shelters nationwide will also be prevented from adopting out high-risk dogs to new owners, which is already a policy of Auckland Council’s animal shelters.
“These amendments are long overdue and represent a huge milestone with our recommendations being taken on board,” says Councillor Calum Penrose, Chair of the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee.
“Hopefully this will set us on the right path to curb the vicious dog attacks that too often cause harm to our community.”
The announcement follows Auckland Council’s menacing dog amnesty earlier in the year, which aimed to directly reduce the harm done by menacing dogs after a series of vicious dog attacks on children. The initiative resulted in 1245 menacing dogs being brought forward by their owners to be de-sexed and registered.
After the conclusion of the amnesty, Animal Management launched a widespread compliance campaign in areas of the region with high incidences of dog attacks. This has seen the team visit over 1000 properties, and seize 208 dogs for non-compliance and register a further 68 dogs on site.
“We must acknowledge our Animal Management staff for the way in which they conduct themselves in their day to day dealing with dangerous and threatening dogs,” says Councillor Penrose.