Council dog control officers should be given powers to enforce the proposed animal welfare regulations
New animal welfare regulations are being proposed for New Zealand, which would enable instant fines to apply for actions adversely impacting on animals. This is a great step forward, as it means immediate action can be taken, rather than requiring costly prosecutions.
Fines would apply for causing heat stress in dogs by leaving them in hot cars, or failing to provide fully shaded and dry areas for resting and sleeping in areas where dogs are confined.
Infringement fines would also apply for:
In addition, dogs on moving vehicles on public roads would have to be secured in a way that prevents them from falling off, except for working dogs which could be unsecured on a vehicle while working.
The regulations related to dogs are to be enforced by the SPCA’s animal welfare inspectors, while Ministry of Primary Industries will be responsible for animal welfare enforcement for farm animals (see page 20 of the consultation document). The police will also be deemed to be animal welfare inspectors. However, the consultation document notes their involvement is usually limited to where animal welfare offending is connected to other crimes.
Given dog control officers employed by councils are often at the sharp end of dog-related issues, why not deem them to be animal welfare inspectors, with the power to impose infringement fines directly, rather than by contacting the SPCA?
More details about the proposed regulations are available here.
Submissions close on 19 May 2016, and can be provided by email to