Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Deb­o­rah Lin­ton

dOG at­tacks put some­one in hos­pi­tal in Greater Manch­ester ev­ery day last year. Fig­ures ob­tained from NHS Dig­i­tal show that in 2016/17, there were 439 ad­mis­sions to Greater Manch­ester hos­pi­tals af­ter some­one had been bit­ten or struck by a dog.

This cor­re­sponds to an av­er­age of more than one ad­mis­sion a day.

This is a de­crease com­pared to the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, when hos­pi­tals in the area recorded 481 ad­mis­sions - the first de­crease in three years.

Former MP for Bolton West, Julie Hilling, who has pre­vi­ously cam­paigned to strengthen legislation on dan­ger­ous dogs, said: “These new statis­tics prove that despite govern­ment re­as­sur­ance, the cur­rent legis- la­tion to pro­tect peo­ple and in­deed, other an­i­mals, from dan­ger­ous dogs isn’t nearly strong enough.

“Much, much more needs to be done in terms of ed­u­cat­ing dog own­ers and chil­dren on how to be safe around dogs so these dog at­tacks don’t hap­pen again.”

Julie Hilling pre­vi­ously worked with the par­ents of Jade An­der­son to help strengthen dan­ger­ous dog laws, af­ter Jade was trag­i­cally mauled to death in 2013 by dogs cov­ered in the Dan­ger­ous Dogs Act 1991.

There were 7,461 ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tals in Eng­land due to some­one be­ing bit­ten or in­jured by a dog. This works out at an av­er­age of more than 20 ad­mis­sions a day.

The number of ad­mis­sions has de­creased na­tion­ally com­pared to the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, when there were 7,673 ad­mis­sions to hos- pitals. Over­all, peo­ple aged 50 to 54 are more likely to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tals than other age groups. In 2016/17 there were 649 ad­mis­sions for that age range - 8.7 per cent of the to­tal.

Peo­ple aged 45 to 49 were the sec- ond largest group, with 632 ad­mis­sions, or 8.5 per cent of the to­tal.

Chil­dren aged up to four were the third largest group with 565 ad­mis­sions, cor­re­spond­ing to 7.6 per cent.

Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer for the an­i­mal wel­fare char­ity Blue Cross, Gemma Tay­lor, said: “Dogs make won­der­ful com­pan­ions and fam­ily mem­bers but we need to re­mem­ber that their way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing is very dif­fer­ent to our own and learn­ing a lot about their wel­fare needs and be­hav­iour means we can spot the signs of fear and stress – two as­pects which can be key driv­ers to a po­ten­tial bite sit­u­a­tion.

“Dogs give us clear sig­nals and signs of how they are feel­ing in their own body lan­guage and in learn­ing these we can get a rich un­der­stand­ing of what they are try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate.”

Jade An­der­son, who was killed by a dog

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