THE Invercargill City Council (ICC) has agreed to temporarily stop using the captive bolt method to euthanise dogs at the city pound.
The decision was made at a council meeting on Tuesday attended by dozens of members of the public concerned with animal welfare.
The council had come under fire after a video showing council workers euthanising a dog using the captive bolt method, and allegedly stomping its head was released to various online news and social media outlets two weeks ago.
At the meeting deputy mayor Rebecca Amundsen recommended the council fund a consultation period and the formation of a community engagement panel to objectively discuss options for rehoming and euthanising dogs.
“By using the community panel we are ensuring the decision is not politicised, that all voices have the opportunity to be heard, and that all information is considered and assessed fairly,” she said.
The community engagement panel would consist of six members of the public which would look at the current process, obtain a clear idea of public opinion on the matter and decide which method of euthanasia should be used by staff at the pound going forward.
Cr Allan Arnold was met with applause from members of the public when he proposed an amendment to the recommendation – all euthanisations of dogs using the captive bolt method at the pound be stopped.
Cr Toni Biddle said the lethal injection method should be used until the proposed community engagement panel arrived at a decision.
The lethal injection method was more expensive, but “if we’re talking about four dogs a month, I’m confident council can meet that expense,” she said.
The ICC voted to accept the recommendation and the proposed amendments to it, and also agreed voluntary positions on the panel would be advertised like any job, and the group would be advised by an independent professional, likely to be a vet.