Today my Members Bill to speed up the court process for dog control offences and divert low-level cases away from the District Court has passed into law, Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie says.
“The Dog Control (Category 1 Offences) Amendment Bill today passed its final reading with the support of all Parties except the Green Party.
“In my years as Manawatu District Mayor I saw first-hand the concerns of dog owners and Council animal control officers over the long and frustrating wait times for these cases to be resolved.
“Low-level, or Category 1 offences will now be heard by Justices of the Peace and Community Magistrates, rather than our busy District Court judges. This will take some 400 cases a year out of District Courts across the country and speed up the time taken to resolve them.
“Dog control laws protect members of the public from the activities of dogs and also the actions, or lack of them, of dog owners. This practical amendment will improve court processing times and improve the welfare of dogs – a good cause all around.”