SPCA relieved to hear Petitions Committee recommendation on banning life chaining of dogs
SPCA is pleased to hear the Petitions Committee has considered the petition of Chained Dog Awareness New Zealand Trust—Ban life chaining of dogs in New Zealand—and has recommended to the Government that it amend the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations to create a new offence of life-time or prolonged tethering or confinement of a dog.
SPCA submitted that thousands of dogs in New Zealand are subjected to prolonged tethering or confinement and that the legislation needs to be improved to better protect their welfare. With many tethered or confined dogs having access to adequate shelter, water, and a place to defecate, they are compliant with current regulations. This makes it hard for SPCA inspectors to ease the suffering of chained or confined dogs, particularly when it comes to mental distress and behavioural problems.
Andrea Midgen, SPCA CEO, says SPCA and many animal welfare groups have been working on this issue for nearly a decade and will be relieved to finally hear that change is on the horizon.
“We have been highlighting this issue of prolonged tethering and confinement for many years” says Ms Midgen.
“Most recently, SPCA has engaged the help of Kiwis across the country to help add their voice to this through our ‘Break the Chain’ campaign and we very much hope this has assisted the Minister to see how much people care about this issue. We know creating new regulations will take time, but all we are asking for is that commitment from Government to create them. It’s looking like our collective efforts will soon break the chain for so many dogs who deserve better lives.”
MPI commented that creating new regulations can take about 18 months. It said it would advise the responsible Minister (the Associate Minister of Agriculture) on her options for creating new regulations. SPCA looks forward to hearing from Minister Whaitiri.
The Petitions Committee met between 17 February and 4 August 2022 to consider the petition, which was referred to them by Chained Dog Awareness New Zealand on 25 November 2021.