Sharp rise in dog at­tacks

Townsville Bulletin - - NATION -

DOG at­tacks are in­creas­ing, with more than 2000 peo­ple se­ri­ously in­jured ev­ery year.

The sharp rise in dog at­tacks in Aus­tralia is leav­ing chil­dren with hor­rific fa­cial in­juries and comes de­spite crack­downs on dan­ger­ous breeds. New re­search re­veals that since 2003 the rate of dog at­tacks has in­creased by 57 per cent.

The Men­zies In­sti­tute for Med­i­cal Re­search at the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia found dog at­tacks hos­pi­talised 31,218 peo­ple in 12 years with chil­dren in­jured at twice the rate of adults.

“Leg­is­la­tion has been in­tro­duced to re­strict own­er­ship of dan­ger­ous breeds in Aus­tralia yet rates of dog bites have in­creased,” As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Leigh Bl­iz­zard said.

Prof Bl­iz­zard warned un­der­re­port­ing masked the true ex­tent of the prob­lem.

“Peo­ple are try­ing to avoid be­ing in­ves­ti­gated be­cause their beloved pooch has bit­ten the baby,” he said. NSW had the low­est rates of dog at­tacks.

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