Aug 22 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
DOG attacks are on the increase, according to figures from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS trust.
Figures from the past five years illustrate how the number of children attacked by dogs has increased year on year.
In 2010/2011, there were 73 children treated at the hospital because of a dog attack. This rose to 85 children for 2011/2012, and the number of children attacked this year already stands at 82.
Sixteen people have been killed by dangerous dogs since 2005, including 14-year-old Jade Anderson, who was savaged by four dogs as she was visiting the home of a friend near Wigan in March.
The figures issued also reveal that a large number of adults were attacked by dogs, resulting in hospital treatment.
This year, there were 150 assaults on adults – almost three a week.
In 2011/2012, there were 172 adults assaulted and in 2010/11 there were 176 people attacked. Following the publication of the figures, West Lancs MP Rosie Cooper said: “These shocking figures show why we need tougher measures when it comes to dog attacks. Measures that apply both to the animal and to the owner.
“We must do more to ensure that people of all ages are better protected.
“We must empower and enable law enforcement agencies with the necessary powers to enforce that protection.
“I appreciate there cannot be 100% guaranteed protection and there are no measures to guarantee all dog attacks will be prevented.
“However, we can ensure that the same animal does not carry out more than one attack.
“We can also surely place pressure on owners to meet their responsibilities and be more cautious knowing there will be consequences.
“For me, dangerous dog owners should have no place to hide, no protection from prosecution – whether it is in the street or in their own home.”
The Government announced in February that it would introduce new measures to tackle out of control dogs by changing the law to ensure irresponsible owners can be prosecuted regardless of where their dog attacks.
Currently, the 1991 Dangerous Dog Act only allows for prosecutions of attacks by dogs in public spaces and private areas where the dogs are prohibited from, such as a neighbours garden.
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