Pattaya Daily News

03 January 2012 :: 10:01:32 am 61051

Bites from dangerous dogs put 6,000 victims a year in hospital

Bites from dangerous dogs put 6,000 victims a year in hospital as number of those injured doubles in a decade
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The number of people taken to hospital with dog bites has almost doubled in a decade, new figures showed yesterday.

Dog bite cases in casualty departments topped 6,000 for the first time this year, they show.

The fast-growing medical caseload caused largely by out-of-control dogs was disclosed in NHS data at a time of deepening concern over the injuries caused by dangerous dogs.

Last month judicial authorities proposed new sentencing guidelines for the courts suggesting two-year jail terms for the worst offenders as a result of the growing frequency of dangerous dog incidents.

The Sentencing Council said it wanted to ensure irresponsible owners are prevented from keeping dogs, dangerous dogs and put down, and attack victims are properly compensated.

According to hospital statistics, the number of dog bites reported at A&E departments has gone up by 94 per cent over 10 years and reached 6,097 in the year to the end of March 2011.

Court convictions for dog offences have also been rising rapidly.

The number of adults sentenced for dangerous dog crimes went up by 39 per cent in a year, from 855 in 2009 to 1,192 in 2010. There was a 58 per cent increase in the number of people charged and brought before the courts over the same year, up from 1,077 to 1,705.

The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act which covers attacks by uncontrolled pets is a controversial piece of legislation, often cited as a classic example of over-hasty law-making by ministers, officials and MPs working too fast in the face of a temporary scare.

However the scale of dog-related violence has persuaded ministers that further regulation may be necessary.

A spokesperson for the Environment Department, which is headed by Tory Caroline Spelman, said: ‘We will be announcing new measures early in the new year that will better protect the public, allow the Police and councils to better enforce the law and ensure dog owners take responsibility for their animals.’

Labour has begun to press Mrs Spelman for faster movement. Shadow Food and Farming Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies said: ‘It has been sixteen months since the last consultation on reform of the laws and guidance on dangerous dogs ended, yet the Government has done nothing.

‘It is good to see the Sentencing Council has begun a consultation on sentencing policies for dangerous dog-owners, but that only deals with the end result when an attack or threat has taken place, when people and pets are injured or sometimes killed.’

Mr Irranca-Davies added: ‘The Government needs to bring forward measures on early intervention and education, more powers for police and councils, extend dangerous dog laws to private property, and explore the extension of micro-chipping. It must stop dithering, and act to reduce dog attacks and tackle irresponsible owners now.’

There is also increasing concern over the cost of dealing with dangerous dogs. Costs have gone up more than tenfold since 2007, and last year £2.1 million was spent on boarding dogs which had been seized from their owners. The bills covered veterinary fees and transport for animals as well as the cost of kennels.

Report by : Daily Mail

Photo : Internet   Category : Community News

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