Rural groups are banding together to support farmers dealing with challenging weather conditions in Otago and Southland.
Environmental health manager Michael Sarfaiti says a public survey is the first step in the process. The survey will allow the council to consult informally with the public and give people the opportunity to express their views on dog control, which can be integrated into the review.
"Council believes that serious dog attacks are totally unacceptable, and knows that the public expects to be safe from dogs both at home and in public," Sarfaiti says.
"We receive about one reported dog attack a week, with most being attacks on other dogs and animals. Council wants to take this opportunity to make changes to both our bylaw and policy to reduce wandering, attacks and the number of unwanted dogs throughout the district."
Key issues the council is seeking feedback on in the survey include:
- Should registration fees be lower for responsible owners and de-sexed dogs?
- Should dog owners need a permit to keep multiple dogs?
- Should the council visit every property in the district every few years, including for the purpose of identifying and managing higher-risk properties?
- Do any local dog rules need to be changed?
The survey can be completed by visiting the council's website, www.southlanddc.govt.nz, or by visiting any of council's area offices, where surveys can be handed in at the counter or placed in a survey box.
Information gathered in the survey will then be used to produce a draft bylaw and policy, which will be put to the council on 18 March. Council will then hold a formal consultation process with the public, including a submissions hearing, with the new rules likely to be adopted on 3 June.
The survey will run until February 14.