Savage dogs are a menace – but a mandatory microchipping regime didn’t muzzle these mastiffs

All decent people will be distressed that a Japanese girl is in a critical condition in hospital after she was mauled by four dogs.

The girl, aged 7, was playing in the yard of a property in the Bay of Plenty forestry town of Murupara owned by friends of the family when she was attacked by four “mastiff-type” dogs.

Police say the dogs belonged to the owner of the property.

All four dogs were put down by a vet and a police investigation is under way.

But here’s the bit in a report at Stuff that drew the attention of the Grumbles:

Whakatane district councillor for the Galatea-Murupara Ward, Alison Silcock, said she understood the dogs were microchipped and registered, and the owners were responsible.

Ha. So them Labour tossers with all their fussing about the need for mandatory microchipping of dogs have heaped compliance requirements and costs on all dog owners.

But they have not prevented vicious dogs from inflicting awful injuries on people.

Alf’s mate Paul Hutchison said as much in November 2003 when he issued a statement under the heading “Microchips not the answer to dog attacks”.

Compulsory microchipping of dogs may be something for the future, but it was not the key now to preventing dog attacks, he said.

He was criticising some more daft laws being promoted by the Clark mob and said:

“One of the major thrusts of the new dog laws is to clamp down on irresponsible owners who often don’t register their dogs.

“The trouble with universal microchipping is that it places extra compliance costs on the majority of responsible owners.

“At this stage, the focus should be on better enforcement of the aspects of the law that will help prevent most attacks,” says Dr Hutchison.

Local authorities didn’t think much of Labour’s demands for the management of mean mutts.

Just down the road from where this post is being crafted, the Masterton District Council in 2006 was teetering on the brink of an act of civil disobedience by telling its dog control staff to treat microchipping as a low priority.

Its posture was mentioned in this report.

The council’s legally-trained chief executive, Wes ten Hove, asked himself whether staff could be instructed on priorities for administration of legislative obligations.

“The answer must be in the affirmative,” he said. “The council on behalf of its community can advocate and represent a political position on this legislation and has a number of avenues open to it to express such a position,” Mr ten Hove said.

Ten Hove had been prompted by a councillor’s call to protest against microchipping dogs, especially working dogs, and was investigating just how far his council could go and still stay within the law.

The Stratford District Council was reported to be planning to enforce microchipping only on dangerous or menacing dogs.

And South Taranaki Mayor Mary Bourke reportedly said microchipping would make no difference to irresponsible owners of unregistered dogs.

In the article cited above, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia did the rare thing of saying something with which Alf was in full agreement. She said she could not see the purpose of forcing farm dogs to be microchipped.

“And, to be honest, I can’t really see the purpose of it for other dogs, because responsible dog owners do register their dogs.”

Much the same could be said of claims that anti-smacking legislation would reduce violence against children.

But that’s another story…

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