EDITORIAL: Desexing dogs should not fall to council
DESEXING animals is proven to be the best way to decrease the numbers of unwanted animals being neglected, abused and put down.
The shocking rate of animal abuse in the region has been highlighted in recent reports by the Chronicle, and it's clear that urgent action is needed to reduce the figure.
But should sterilisation be compulsory, and is it the council's place to enforce the issue?
While I am in favour of nearly all measures that protect animals, compulsory sterilisation of dogs at 22 weeks would be a difficult and costly law to enforce.
Mandatory checks would be the only way of ensuring the law was followed, but patrolling door-to-door to sniff out un-spayed animals would be an expensive bureaucratic nightmare.
It may even prove to be more of a strain on council finances than the current system.
An effective law is one that can be enforced without placing undue burden on authorities or the public, and without wasting ratepayers' money.
Rather than paying to send animal control officers around to people's homes, a more practical suggestion would be to spend the money on educating owners about the importance of spaying, further reduce animal registration fees for neutered pets - perhaps to a one-off, lifetime registration rather than annual - and to work with vets to provide low-cost desexing.