Rules to change for animal owners

File photo.

Rules could be about to change for pet owners throughout Tauranga, following lengthy consultation with community members.

The changes relate to the dog management policy and bylaw and keeping of animals bylaw.

A number of changes to the regulations have been proposed following public consultation over the past few months and on Tuesday the Community and Culture Committee recommended the changes to a full Council meeting for adoption.

The Dog Management Policy and Dog Management Bylaw 2018 outlines how Tauranga City Council will ensure the exercise and recreational needs of dogs and their owners are met while minimising any danger, distress or nuisance from dogs in public places.

Earlier this year council recommended a review of the document was not only appropriate but necessary, given it was last done in 2008.

The documents went up for public submissions earlier this year and closed on September 17, with submissions heard by council on October 1.

A total of 265 submissions were received on the draft Dog Management Policy and draft Dog Management Bylaw with 16 submitters requesting to be heard.

Many residents expressed mixed opinions on both the bylaw and the policy.

Following this consultation process, the committee has recommended the following changes to Council:

• Dogs are required to be on leash when in Motiti Reserve or the section of beach in front of Motiti Reserve, between 10am and 5pm from December 15 to February 15 annually.

• The prohibited areas in Mount Maunganui will remain, however, dogs on leash can access the beach at the cenotaph but must remain on leash for 255m past Moturiki (Leisure Island) towards Papamoa.

• Dogs are prohibited from a defined area around surf clubs (per maps in bylaw) and from all flagged lifeguard areas, but dogs on leash can transit through these areas. Dogs are required to be on leash and under control in all beachside car parks or beach access ways.

• Council has the ability to temporarily restrict dog access where necessary to protect wildlife or for events in parks and reserves.

• Dogs are prohibited from libraries, council service centres, council community centres, and indoor sports facilities except if participating in a dog education or training programme.

• Dogs classified as menacing must be neutered.

• No one person can exercise more than four dogs on leash or two dogs off leash at any one time.

The decision has been made that dogs can continue to be left unattended outside shops, so long as they are not causing danger, distress or nuisance, following feedback received during the community consultation.

Changes have also been recommended for the Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2018.

The bylaw manages the keeping of poultry, bees, pigs, goats and other stock in Tauranga. It enables residents to keep animals on their property without causing a nuisance to neighbouring residents.

The following changes have been recommended to Council:

• Chicken coops must be a minimum of five metres from neighbouring dwellings and can be constructed along the fence line, so long as it complies with relevant rules in the City Plan.

• Horses or cattle must be at least five metres from any dwelling, shop, warehouse, factory, workshop, church or school. Restrictions would no longer apply to adjoining premises.

• Stock may only be grazed in paddocks with a post and strained wire stock proof fence.

Council will no longer look to impose a limit on the number of beehives in a residential area, following feedback received during the community consultation.

Pigs and goats permitted in areas zoned rural only, remains unchanged.

The Dog Management Policy, Dog Management Bylaw 2018 and Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2018 will be up for adoption at the full Council meeting on December 18, and if adopted will come into force on April 1 2019.


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