New by­law angers Bay dog own­ers

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAY­LEY MOOR

Dun­lop says there is very lit­tle ev­i­dence that dogs are caus­ing prob­lems [in Rus­sell].

‘‘The whole thing has been badly con­sulted on, if peo­ple had re­alised how dra­co­nian the changes are there would have been more feed­back.

‘‘I per­son­ally think that the ex­ist­ing rules in Rus­sell were fine, but any ir­re­spon­si­ble dog owner or un­su­per­vised dogs should be re­ported to coun­cil.’’

When asked whether there were prob­lems with dogs chas­ing birds on beaches while off-leash, Dun­lop says, re­spon­si­ble dog own­ers should have their dogs un­der con­trol.

‘‘Dogs should not chase wildlife - it’s against the law. Those dogs should not be al­lowed off a leash.’’

Dun­lop says it’s also non­sense to go to Opua [the near­est off-leash area for Rus­sell].

Around 60 dog-own­ers from Bay of Is­lands Watch­Dogs met at the of­fleash Opua Beach on Au­gust 6 to protest the by­law changes.

The coun­cil first con­sulted the com­mu­nity on the draft pol­icy and by­law in Oc­to­ber 2016.

Coun­cil dis­trict ser­vices man­ager Dr Dean My­burgh says the coun­cil is aware that a num­ber of dog own­ers in Rus­sell, Opua and Pai­hia have re­cently voiced strong views about the pro­posed by­law.

The coun­cil is there­fore ask­ing the com­mu­nity board to give fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion to the draft by­law at its meet­ing, My­burgh says.

‘‘We are un­able to re­open sub­mis­sions and we need to fol­low due process,’’ he says.

‘‘How­ever, we aim to be a coun­cil that lis­tens to its com­mu­ni­ties, so have asked the board to con­sider whether to amend the draft Dog Con­trol By­law and Pol­icy.’’

The Strat­egy Com­mit­tee will con­sider the draft by­law and pol­icy on Au­gust 30 and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the coun­cil for con­sid­er­a­tion in Septem­ber.

The 2017 Dog Con­trol By­law is due to come into force by Oc­to­ber 1.

The ex­ist­ing by­law was im­ple­mented in 2006, leg­is­la­tion re­quires the by­law to be re­viewed ev­ery 10 years.

What do you think? Email jenny.ling@fair­fax­me­ with your views and don’t for­get to in­clude your full name and town.

You can also read more about this is­sue on our Con­ver­sa­tions pages on page 8 and 9 or com­ment on Neigh­bourly.

BOI Watch­dogs at Opua Beach.

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