Hastings Rural Dog Fee Hikes Major After Sheep Attacks
Hastings rural dog fees increase dramatically after sheep attacks. Made with funding from NZ On Air.
Man’s best friend is set to get more expensive, with Hastings District Council set to increase dog fees from July.
The fee increase comes after several years without an increase, as costs for the council have fallen from 300 sheep attacks in the Hastings countryside.
Each attack means the council’s animal control unit is spending a lot of time and money investigating and prosecuting.
Hastings District Councilor Bayden Barber said in his experience “good working dogs” were not to blame for sheep attacks.
“Usually urban dogs that have been brought into a rural setting – never seen a sheep before – and ‘nek minnit’ they tear at them.”
Hastings District Council Regulatory Solutions Director John Payne said that “further” from urban areas, some working dogs have been involved in livestock, but it is “generally the non-working dogs that cause the problem”.
âI guess you have to strike the right balance as to who has to pay for the service,â he said.
The fees for rural dogs are up 40%. $ 100 to $ 56, which is half the price of city charges, which only go up 5%. $ 100 to $ 115.
New fees would be introduced for the seizure and destruction of dogs.
Hastings deputy mayor and rural community council member Tania Kerr said she would ask if the fee for working dogs could be separated from the fee for rural dogs in the future.
âRight now, if you have a pet poodle in the country, you pay the same fee per dog that your neighbor maybe farmer pays for each of their working dogs,â she said.
âI am considering asking the Rural Community Council to investigate rural working dog fees.
She said the fees did not cover all animal control costs, with the general public taking the rest of the bill.
âThe public benefits from the fact that we have a very good animal control team,â Kerr said.
“By having the regulations and protections in place that allow our public to move safely in the community without worrying about dangerous dogs roaming around.”
“We have a team that takes care of them and takes care of the community.”
The increase in dog fees will be reviewed annually.
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