The new Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Dog Control Policy and Bylaw for 2016 will come into effect tomorrow.

The policy and bylaw updates rules for dog welfare, neutering, dog exercise areas, dealing with dog poo and also encourages responsible dog ownership.

The intention was to achieve a balance between meeting the needs of dog owners, and the wider community.

Compliance and monitoring manager Alison Curtis said dog safety awareness was becoming more important as more people, and subsequently dogs, moved to this district.

"Council strives to minimise the potential danger, distress and nuisance of dogs to the community generally while ensuring the adequate welfare and wellbeing of dogs. The bylaw and policy is about ensuring the right balance, acknowledging the positives of dogs in our community and ensuring a dog safe environment"

The council went out to the community this year to talk about the changes people wanted to see to dog rules and find out what was important to them.

From there a draft policy was created for formal feedback - most was generally very supportive of the proposals.

The final policy and bylaw were created and are adopted on October 14.


Some of the main things people should know are:

* On leash restrictions have been introduced in Te Puke, Katikati and Waihi Beach town centres

* The new Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway has been designated as a "dogs on lead" area to reduce potential issues between cyclists and dogs off lead

* Owners are now required to carry a poo bag in public areas at all times and can be issued an infringement for not complying. Warnings will be given initially.

To view the policy and bylaw go to Council's website.

To acknowledge the new policy and bylaw, there is a dog walk organised for Saturday, October 15, at TECT All Terrain Park from 10am.

This is a social event and offers opportunity for dog owners to meet members of council's Animal Services team, and ask questions on the changes. Information on the walk is available on the council's website and Facebook page.