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Media Releases
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Microchipping of dogs to proceed

27 June 2006

Christchurch dog-owners will have all their details recorded on a National Dog Database and some dog-owners must microchip their dogs, following Government law changes that became effective on 1 July, 2006.

The new law follows recent media attention to microchipping, which is only one of several changes facing dog-owners from 1 July.

The new law is the Government’s attempt to reduce dog attacks by dangerous and menacing dogs through easier identification and tracking of them, even if shifted around the country. The law also aligns with a Government decision to set up a National Dog Database to nationally record dogs and their owners for more consistent and effective dog control.

The Government has introduced the following key changes, which became effective on 1 July, 2006:

  • a new National Dog Database (NDD) which records dog owners’ full details, the date of birth and full details of each dog, and
  • the microchipping of some dogs.

The recent vote in Parliament, however, to exempt farm dogs from microchipping poses new challenges for territorial authorities. The details of how farm dogs will be dealt with – if made exempt by law - are yet to be determined.

For now though, the new law still dictates that:

  • all dogs registered for the first time on or after 1 July 2006,
  • all dogs classified as dangerous and menacing on or after 1 December 2003, and
  • dogs that are impounded for a second time, prior to their release from the dog shelter must all be microchipped.

The Christchurch City Council has approved a $5 increase for all dog registrations to help pay for the new administration costs required for all dogs on the NDD and the recent inclusion of Banks Peninsula.
The microchips, which are as small as a grain of rice, are implanted in a way that is as painless as a standard injection. The implants are carried out to International Standards Organisation requirements by trained microchip inserters.

The microchip number is then recorded on the Christchurch City Council’s dog register and uploaded to the NDD with all the dog-owner and dog’s other details.

All Christchurch dog-owners (including Banks Peninsula) should have received a newsletter about the changes and what they must do to meet all new legal requirements.

Any dog-owners affected by the new law who are found after 1 July, 2006, with a dog that is not microchipped will be reminded of their legal obligation to comply and may be issued with an infringement notice and face prosecution, if they ignore these warnings.

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