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Bite taken out of dog fees

Last updated 08:24 10/05/2012

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Councillors last week voted against the original proposal included in Auckland Council's draft long term plan 2012-2022. That would have seen fees for licensed owners with a desexed dog rise from $47 to $120 in the 2012-2013 year and from $53 to $160 for other dogs.

Instead that fee will now rise from $47 to $49.

The proposed changes were greeted by howls of protest from dog owners across the city. More than 4400 of the 10,000 submissions received on the draft longterm plan related to dog registration fees.

Most opposed the level of increase and the removal of the responsible dog owner licence discount. They also felt that good dog owners were being penalised and not enough was being done to address problems caused by irresponsible owners.

The council decided last Thursday to retain the current fee structure but with dog registration and impoundment fees adjusted for inflation by 3.3 per cent.

Mayor Len Brown says the council has listened to good dog owners who said more work is needed on the proposed fee structure in order to match it with the council's upcoming policy work on dogs.

The council will also roll out a regionwide responsible dog owner licensing programme.

New fees will be included in the long-term plan, which will come into effect from July 1. Owners of registered dogs will be sent registration renewal information by post.

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- Manukau Courier

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