Have a say on proposed bylaw
Dogs in public areas in Queenstown and Wanaka will have to be kept on a leash unless in designated dog exercise areas if a new dog control bylaw goes ahead.
The bylaw was approved for public consultation by the Queenstown Lakes District Council at its meeting in Wanaka last week.
Among the key changes proposed is that dogs must be kept on leashes in public places except in rural general zones (unless at a cemetery or playground) or any dog exercise area.
Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said it would still be possible to let dogs off leads on tracks such as Lake Hayes and many reserves where dogs are exercised. But there would be more freedom to take dogs – on a lead – into areas where they were were previously banned, such as Queenstown Mall.
Other changes include: ◗ All dogs classified as menacing to be neutered; ◗ Any probationary and disqualified owners shall be classified for the maximum period unless they can satisfy the council the full period is unnecessary; ◗ The criteria for issuing multiple dog licences has been clarified and are issued for a period of five years; and ◗ Fees for dog registration have changed to recognise and reward behaviour that complies with the Dog Control Act 1996. Webster said most dog owners will find their fees will drop a little, up to 15 per cent. ‘‘Where it will go up will be for dog owners with dogs who have been classified as menacing or dangerous.’’ It follows an online survey regarding dog control undertaken earlier this year. There were 985 completed surveys received, with 44 per cent of responses stating that dogs should not be free to roam. Eighty-seven per cent supported restrictions regarding the number of dogs that could be kept at a property. Two-thirds of respondents liked the concept of a designated dog exercise area, with 54 per cent supporting a combined method of paying for this facility through dog registration and rates. It was proposed the council consider designated areas over time. The bylaw will be open for public submissions next week.