A Kiwi minister has urged people to use the festive season to avoid littering and for the country to adopt a “disease-free” approach to the holiday season.
The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries said on Sunday it had received more than 8,500 complaints about the state of New Zealands dog waste over the last year, with some animals showing signs of illness.
But New Zealanders were also warned to clean up after their dogs in the first few days of the new year.
Dogs are “not just for pets”, minister Nick Smith said.
“They’re part of the fabric of New England, they’re part and parcel of the economy.
They are our community’s backbone.
If we don’t have a healthy dog population, we’ll see this continue to be a challenge, particularly as winter comes.”
Smith said the department had started working with the NZDF to develop “deterministic protocols” for dealing with dog poop in New England.
These protocols would be implemented in December and will be rolled out across the country, he said.