PIT BULL TERRIERS AND LIQUOR BANS PROPOSED IN BILL

  • Maurice Williamson
Local Government

A Bill proposing the banning of the consumption of alcohol in public places on specific days and phasing out dangerous dog breeds from the country had its second reading in Parliament today by Local Government Minister Maurice Williamson.

"At present, local authorities are only able to ban alcohol for specific events and then only for 12 hours in any 24 hour period. The changes proposed in the Local Government Law Reform Bill would provide local authorities with the power to ban the consumption of alcohol in public places on certain specified days normally associated with high levels of public drunkenness and disturbance."

The days that these could be imposed would be between December 24 and January 2, Easter weekend, Guy Fawkes Day and Waitangi Day.

"It's important that local authorities have these powers to use when they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the presence of alcohol would lead to disorderly behaviour. But the bans could only be imposed when local authorities believed it necessary for public safety."

The Bill also provides for the phased elimination of Pit Bull Terriers and would prevent the importation of their embryos and semen.

"The powers would initially be applied to American Pit Bull Terriers only because these dogs are seen to be particularly dangerous and a real threat to public safety. Other breeds or types deemed to be dangerous could be added to the list as necessary."

Mr Williamson said restrictions would be placed on existing Pit Bull Terriers including neutering, muzzling when in public, secure fencing of properties and higher registration costs.