Crisis speaks as deadly dog attacks DOUBLE with victims including four children under 3
An explosion of fatal dog bite attacks has led to talks at the highest levels of government to try to stop the ‘national crisis’.
Already this year, six people have been mauled to death by dogs, double the number of last year.
Four were children under the age of three.
A pandemic boom in pet ownership has been blamed, with breeds being imported from overseas and left unsocialized during the lockdown.
Bosses under fire from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have called for round tables to discuss possible changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The police, courts and Crown Prosecution Service have been criticized for failing to fully enforce the law, leaving the Royal Mail and Communication Workers’ Union to pursue private prosecutions.
The RSPCA also says the current law is not working, while postal and delivery workers say they have been left with PTSD after being ravaged by dogs while on rounds.
The CWU says dog attacks injure 3,000 postal, pickup and delivery workers each year.
Dave Joyce of the union said: ‘This is a national crisis. We have 90,000 members and every day I wake up thinking ‘is this the day I’m going to get that call that one has been killed?’ We got closer.
Postie Sarah King, 46, had her finger bitten off, leaving her in need of counseling and a prosthetic finger. The CPS is reviewing his case. The mother-of-two, from Barnsley, was attacked by a rottweiler-sharpei cross near Mexborough, South Yorks.
She said: “The dog was like a silent ninja. There was no hair or back to the mailbox so she stuck her muzzle in. When I pulled my hand away, part of my finger was missing. The pain was horrible. »
A 56-year-old postwoman from Sheffield was fighting for her life after a dog attack in the city this year. She was injured in the face, leg and head, but police said there would be “no further action”. Two weeks ago, a 31-year-old postal worker was bitten at least five times by a German Shepherd in Goole, East Yorks. She wants tougher action on offending owners, saying: ‘Something has to happen or someone is going to die.’
Mr Joyce said a major problem is the lack of enforcement by the police, courts and CPS, adding: “I suspect the dog attack cases are not their priority, which is wrong. “
The CWU wants “sentences that fit the crime,” he said. “Courts can order prison terms of up to five years for aggravated dog attacks resulting in serious injury.
“But the longest we’ve seen is four and a half months, involving a postman who was nearly killed.”
The CWU is calling for changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act to simplify prosecutions, saying the law suggests a dog owner must be aware that their pet is dangerous, which is difficult to prove.
Dr Sam Gaines of the RSPCA said: “There is an urgent need for reform. We want to see the end of breed specific legislation. Any dog can bite.
The Royal Mail said: ‘We will seek to pursue dog owners in the criminal courts where appropriate. We will continue to press for the law to be changed to reflect the severity of the attacks. »
Defra said: “We have set up a Responsible Dog Ownership Project with police, local authority officials and animal welfare stakeholders to look at dog control issues.”
1 Expand the list of prohibited breeds to make it illegal to own, breed or sell other dangerous types.
2 Pass a law requiring owners to register certain breeds that could be dangerous. Similar laws exist in France and Austria.
3 Anyone wishing to own a potentially dangerous breed must attend a training course and the dog’s behavior must be evaluated.
Victims of out-of-control pets
SIX people, including four children, have died in the UK so far this year after being shot by dogs.
Dog bite injuries have more than doubled in the past 15 years, with more than 10,000 people a year requiring hospital treatment, and The Mirror is campaigning for tougher controls on dangerous dogs.
The first victim of 2022 was John Jones, 68, who was attacked at his country home in Lampeter, West Wales, on January 10.
Police sedated three bulldogs and a woman was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog, then released under investigation.
On March 6, three-month-old Kyra Leanne King died of head and neck injuries after being attacked by a husky in the woods near Woodhall Spa, Lincs. A 40-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of being in charge of an out-of-control husky and are still under investigation.
Bella-Rae Birch, just 17 months old, was mauled to death in St Helens, Merseyside on March 21.
His father’s American bully XL was destroyed and no arrests were reportedly made.
Two-year-old Lawson Bond died after being brutalized at his home in Egdon, Worcs, a week later. Three Rottweilers were shot but no arrests were made.
Three-year-old Daniel Twigg was mauled to death on a farm on May 15 and a 48-year-old man was arrested and released on bail.
Last week Keven Jones, 62, died after being bitten at a home in Wrexham. No arrests were made.