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Minister Bites Federated Farmers

Minister of Local Government, Chris Carter shows he is sadly mislead if he thinks microchipping dogs is a good idea says Don Nicolson, National Board member, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc)

Mr Nicolson was responding to comments from the Minister of Local Government criticising the Federation for its stance on the microchipping of dogs.

“Mr Carter claims Federated Farmers figures on the cost of microchipping are inaccurate. As the figures are from the New Zealand Veterinarians Association, it seems that it is Mr Carter who is inaccurate.

“Mr Carter also claims Federated Farmers figures on the costs of the database are ridiculous. The Minister is wrong because the cost of the dog database and the motor vehicle register are comparable. He seems to have ignored the fact that a dog's lifespan is much shorter than for a car.

“It is incomprehensible for the Minister to argue that microchipping will stop dog attacks. The Minister obviously hasn't been on the farm for a while if he thinks that dogs that attack stock belong to owners who would have them microchipped.

"Roaming dogs that attack sheep and spread disease are a problem for farmers, but Mr Carter needs to share his secret with farmers if he thinks microchipping stops dogs killing stock.

“Even if farmers catch the dog, they're not going to buy a scanner to find out if the dog has a microchip. And if the farmer instead calls a dog control officer armed with a scanner out to the farm, it is unlikely the officer would find a microchip, that is if the officer would bother to travel out into rural areas on the off-chance there is a microchip. And if he/she does, who will pay for that?

“Federated Farmers is not acting contrary to the interests of our members - 71 % of surveyed members opposed microchipping. Those that didn't oppose the proposal considered the proposal should only apply to dogs in urban areas.

In its submission to the select committee Federated Farmers totally opposed microchipping, but is prepared to live with the narrower select committee recommendation.

“Like Pete Hodgson before him, Chris Carter should be very careful about assuming he knows best when it comes to farmer views” Mr Nicolson concluded.

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