DOG LAW REFORM

Submission to the Government during its
Review of the Dog Control Act 2000


TOPIC: Dog Registration Fees


The registration fee for dogs has always been very low. The authorities have the view that
increasing the fees will provoke even further defiance by owners.


The Paper Noxious Barking elaborates further:

It is proposed that council fees for dog registration be at least doubled, and preferably tripled or
quadrupled, with the breed, size and behaviour of the dog being taken into account.

In these times of affluence it is perfectly reasonable for the annual registration fee to average
$150 per animal, plus or minus the usual variations for the usual reasons. This amounts to a
mere $3 weekly. Councils will benefit from the extra income and will be better able to educate
the community and enforce the dog laws.

A higher registration fee will diminish, perhaps substantially, the common misconception that
registration is optional and unimportant, and it will induce at least some owners to better
evaluate the fair worth of their dog and the level of responsibility they are prepared to provide
their local community in controlling it.


The expected increase in non-registrations can be extensively combated by the instant
impoundment of every animal found unregistered. This impoundment should be mandatory
wherever this is practicable. When owners become aware that this can happen they will more
responsibly conform to fair requirement.

Although many owners will initially resent the extra financial imposition, owners in general must
be made to realise that they are often obtaining their selfish and sometimes questionable owner
satisfactions by commonly destroying the rights of their neighbours, those who are entitled
under the current Dog Act and the no-noise provisions in s53 of the Environmental Management
and Pollution Control Act 1993 (the EMPCA) to be free from any disturbing noise not listed as
acceptable, particularly while they are in their own homes but also while they are in any public
place.

Expected positive consequences of this proposal include a substantial diminution in dog numbers
everywhere, a significant reduction in the average size of suburban dogs, and a popular
movement favouring the smaller dog kept indoors.


Recommended:

1. That council fees for dog registration be at least doubled, and preferably tripled or
quadrupled, with the breed, size and behaviour of the dog being taken into account.