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Auckland dog fee hike postponed

Published: 2:50PM Thursday May 03, 2012 Source: ONE News

Auckland Council has decided to postpone a proposed hike in dog registration fees.

The council had proposed that from July, dog registration fees would go up from $47 to $120 for licensed owners with a de-sexed dog, and from $53 to $160 for other dogs.

The proposal aimed to balance the cost to dog owners and the impact on rates for the $12 million which is spent on animal control in Auckland a year.

However the plan prompted thousands of negative responses and the council has been forced to reconsider.

Mayor Len Brown admitted today that more work is needed on the proposed fee structure and it will be kept at current rates until the council has finished its work on a region-wide dog policy.

"The new council was caught between a rock and a hard place," Brown said.

"The Government arbitrarily cut dog fees to a lower level than most of the previous councils, and the incoming council has been required to set a new fee prior to passing a region-wide policy on dogs."

Brown agreed with the view of several councillors that more work was required on the proposals.

In 2010/11, Auckland Council received and investigated 32,419 complaints about dogs, including 3044 about aggression and 9186 about barking.

In the same year, there were 7579 infringement notices issued, 9376 dogs were impounded and 3338 were euthanised.

Approximately 50% of dogs which are impounded are unregistered, the council said.