One-rule-for-all animal-keeping permit system for Southland

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CHANGES have been made to a 10-year-old bylaw relating to the keeping of animals, poultry and bees in Southland.

At Tuesday’s Southland District Council meeting, councillors decided on a one-rule-for-all permit system for Southlanders.

Its previous bylaw, The Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2010, prohibited the keeping of certain animals in urban zones unless consent was given by the council.

It also allowed for a dispensation for Ohai residents under specific conditions.

At the meeting, councillors approved the draft bylaw, which did not include different rules for Ohai and instead, introduced a consistent district-wide permit system.

Cr Don Byars questioned whether Ohai community members were opposed to having their dispensation revoked.

Mayor Gary Tong said the population was not what it used to be 10 years ago, which meant the need for the dispensation had changed.

Cr Paul Duffy acknowledged it had been a problem for other areas across the region.

“We can’t just take it for granted other towns have the same issues.”

Mr Tong said the council was aiming for “consistency across the board”.

Councillors agreed a permit could be requested for those wanting to keep animals which were not allowed under the bylaw, and would incur a one-off $322 fee to cover the cost of processing the application.

However, Ohai residents would be allowed the permit at no cost until October 1, 2025.

The bylaw would come into force on October 12.

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