The punishment for killing a police dog should be extended from a maximum of two years to a maximum of five years according to National MP Matt Doocey.
"Like many New Zealanders, I am outraged by the recent shooting of a police dog in the line of duty (at Tangowahine) in Northland, leaving the police dog critically injured," he said.
"The current penalty for injuring or killing a police dog in this country is two years' jail or a fine of up to $15,000, or both. This is too lenient. In countries and territories like the United States, Canada and South Australia, the penalties for killing a police dog are between five and 10 years' imprisonment.
"Many people I speak to want greater deterrents put in place here in New Zealand to protect the loyal police dogs who work hard to keep us safe."
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The Waimakariri MP said he had drafted a Member's Bill, the Policing (Killing or Injuring Police Dogs) Amendment Bill, that would provide a greater deterrent and bring New Zealand's laws into line with those of other countries.
"If the government wants to make real change to protect our police dogs then it will adopt this Bill and pass it into law," he said.
"Training a police dog in New Zealand costs about $60,000. They are called out more than 40,000 times a year nationwide. These dogs work hard and are valuable assets in fighting crime. Our police dogs are as much a part of our police force as any officer. They protect us, and they deserve our protection."
New Zealand's first police dogs arrived from the UK, with Sergeant Frank Riley, in 1956. Riley, who was permanently appointed to the NZ Police in 1957, established the Police Dog Training School and breeding programme at Trentham. The first 12 New Zealand police handlers and dogs graduated and became operational in June 1958.