Invercargill City Councillors have agreed to establish a community engagement panel to discuss options for rehoming and euthanising dogs.
Pending the outcome of the community engagement, use of captive bolt guns has been suspended. Councillors have instructed that dogs are to be euthanised by lethal injection until further notice.
The decision was made at a full Council meeting today (26 September 2017) after the item was raised as an urgent matter by Deputy Mayor Rebecca Amundsen.
Ms Amundsen said the Council acknowledged there had been a firm and “loud” public response to a video showing the Council’s current practice of euthanising dogs using a a captive bolt gun, but the Council needed to consider all points of view from the community.
She called for a panel to be established to hear the community’s ideas and concerns about dog euthanasia and rehoming. The panel will include members of the community and will utilise expert advice, as well as engagement with Invercargill and Bluff residents which may include meetings, surveys, and workshops.
The panel will be asked to look objectively at information gathered before making a recommendation to the Council regarding a preferred method for euthanising dogs, and a suitable process for rehoming dogs that can be rehomed.
“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,” Ms Amundsen said. “This is a thorough method of community engagement and it empowers the community to be part of the decision-making process.”