Reprint as at 28 July 2014

Dog Control Act 1996

Public Act1996 No 13
Date of assent2 May 1996
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Act to bind the Crown


4 Objects

5 Obligations of dog owners

Functions, duties, and powers of territorial authorities

6 Functions, duties, and powers of territorial authorities

7 Power to appoint joint committees

8 Performance of functions [Repealed]

9 Revenue

10 Duty of territorial authorities to adopt policy on dogs

10AA Local authority must review policy if bylaw implementing policy requires review

10A Territorial authority must report on dog control policy and practices

Dog control officers and dog rangers

11 Dog control officers

12 Dog rangers

13 Dog control officer and dog ranger to produce warrant of authority and evidence of identity

14 Power of entry

15 Power of dog control officer or dog ranger to feed and shelter dogs

16 Districts in which dog control officer or dog ranger may exercise powers

17 Powers of warranted officers

18 Wilful obstruction of dog control officer or dog ranger

19 Power of constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger to request information about owner

19A Power of constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger to request information about dog


20 Dog control bylaws

Probationary owners

21 Classification of probationary owners

22 Objection to classification as probationary owner

23 Probationary owners

23A Territorial authority may require probationary owner to undertake training

24 Obligation of probationary owners to dispose of unregistered dogs

Disqualification of owners

25 Disqualification of owners

26 Objection to disqualification

27 Appeal to District Court

28 Effect of disqualification

29 Probationary classification and disqualification to extend over New Zealand

30 Maintenance of records and provision of information

30AA Territorial authority may retain information about infringement notice until infringement fee paid

Prohibition on import of certain dogs

30A Prohibition on import of dogs listed in Schedule 4

Dangerous dogs

31 Territorial authority to classify dangerous dogs

32 Effect of classification as dangerous dog

32A Dangerous dog classification to extend over New Zealand

33 Territorial authority's consent to disposal of dangerous dog

Menacing dogs

33A Territorial authority may classify dog as menacing

33B Objection to classification of dog under section 33A

33C Dogs belonging to breed or type listed in Schedule 4 to be classified as menacing

33D Objection to classification of dog under section 33C

33E Effect of classification as menacing dog

33EA Menacing dog classification to extend over New Zealand

33EB Territorial authority (other than classifying authority) may require neutering of menacing dog

33EC Offence to fail to comply with section 33E(1) or 33EB

Dangerous and menacing dogs

33ED Territorial authority to classify certain dogs as dangerous or menacing

33F Owner must advise person with possession of dangerous or menacing dog of requirement to muzzle and leash dog in public

Registration and registration fees

34 Dogs register

35 Supply of register information

35A National dog control information database

35AB National dog control information database may contain additional information supplied by territorial authority

35B Levy to fund costs of national dog control information database

36 Application for registration

36A Microchip transponder must be implanted in certain dogs

37 Territorial authority to set fees

38 Registration fee for certain dogs registered on or after 2 August

39 Refund and reduction of fees

40 Proof of class of dog

41 Penalty for false statement relating to application for registration

41A Dead dogs

42 Offence of failing to register dog

43 Registration of impounded dog, dog in quarantine, or dog in custody of society established to prevent cruelty to animals [Repealed]

44 Dog not wearing proper label or disc deemed unregistered

45 Burden of proof on owner of dog

46 Issue of label or disc and completion of registration

47 Registration to extend over New Zealand

48 Change of ownership of dog

49 Transfer of dog from one address or district to another

50 Dog not wearing proper label or disc may be impounded

51 Offences relating to collars, labels, and discs

Obligations of owner

52 Control of dogs generally

52A Control of dog on owner's property

53 Offence of failing to keep dog under control

54 Obligations of dog owner

54A Owner must use or carry leash in public

55 Barking dogs

56 Removal of barking dog causing distress

57 Dogs attacking persons or animals

57A Dogs rushing at persons, animals, or vehicles

58 Dogs causing serious injury

59 Seizure or destruction of dog at large in vicinity of protected wildlife

60 Seizure or destruction of dog running at large among stock or poultry

61 Orders relating to dog seen worrying stock

62 Allowing dogs known to be dangerous to be at large unmuzzled

63 Owner liable for damage done by dog

64 Procedure where order made for destruction of dog

Infringement offences

65 Infringement offences

66 Infringement notices

Custody of dogs

67 Provision of pound facilities

68 Pound fees

69 Impounding and subsequent disposal of dog

69A Impounded dog must be microchipped and registered before release

70 Custody of dog removed for barking

71 Retention of dog threatening public safety

71A Disposal of dog seized under section 15 or 33EC

71B District Court to determine appeal

72 Offence to release dog from custody

72A Power of dog control officer or dog ranger to seize released dog

Miscellaneous provisions

73 No liability where dog wounded in attempt to destroy

74 Limitation of liability for damage

75 Disability assist dogs

76 Giving and content of notices

77 Application of fines

78 Regulations

78A Regulations adding further breed or type to Schedule 4

78B Procedure for bringing Order in Council made under section 78A into force

78C Matters to which Minister must have regard before recommending Order in Council under section 78A

78D Regulations authorising organisation to certify dogs as disability assist dogs

79 Consequential amendments

80 Repeals

Schedule 1
Infringement offences and fees

Schedule 2
Enactments amended

Schedule 3
Enactments repealed

Schedule 4
Breed and type of dog subject to ban on importation and muzzling

Dog Control Amendment Act 2003

Dog Control Amendment Act 2006

Reprint notes

An Act—

  • (a) to make better provision for the control of dogs; and

  • (b) to make better provision in relation to damage caused by dogs; and

  • (c) to repeal the Dog Control and Hydatids Act 1982 and its amendments