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Classification of a dog as either menacing or dangerous can now be done by Lakes Environmental, after the Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday decided to change its delegation register.
Lakes Environmental was previously only authorised to classify a dog as menacing, not dangerous.
But a recent case from Wanaka prompted council chief executive Debra Lawson to suggest a change to the process.
"The recent case of Bella [a Wanaka mastiff-pit bull cross dog which leapt at a senior citizen and was subsequently classified dangerous] has highlighted these issues and I would like to suggest that the delegation register be amended to provide Lakes Environmental with the delegated authority to classify a dog as dangerous, thereby allowing [the] council the independence to hear any appeals that may result," Ms Lawson said.
She was supported by councillors yesterday.
"Considering how much we delegate already, this is an abnormality. The initial classification should not sit with the council," Cr Vanessa van Uden said.
The council set up a panel of councillors to hear dog classification appeals.