Merseyside is named as the hotspot for dog attacks in the UK for the second time.
Liverpool and Dog Attacks
According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, a total of 322 victims sought medical help for a dog attack in Merseyside in 2014/2015. This number of victims ranks Merseyside above Durham, Darlington and Tees and Thames Valley for dog attacks.
Liverpool and the surrounding areas have had an issue with dog attacks for a number of years now. Four-year-old John-Paul Massey from Wavertree was mauled to death in 2009, sparking calls for tougher dog laws. Other incidents include the death of pensioner Clifford Clarke, of Clubmoor, who was attacked by his neighbours’ starving presa canario.
The newly released figures have prompted a number of individuals at the University of Liverpool to question why dog attacks are more common in Merseyside than anywhere else in the country.
The People, Animals and their Health in Society (PATHS) group at the university, led by Dr Rob Christley, Dr Francine Watkins, Dr Carri Westgarth and Professor Liz Perkins, plan to further analyse the issue. As part of the group’s “health in people and animals” programme, PATHS is working with Merseyside Police, Royal Mail and a number of agencies to consider how dog attack incidents are responded to and recorded.
Separately, a PhD programme jointly run by both the Dog’s Trust and the University of Liverpool are looking into how postal workers and the public can be protected from dog injuries. Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership will develop, coordinate and lead local efforts to lessen the number of dog bites and assess their impact.
Dr Christley said:
“Currently, we do not have enough information about how dog bites occur and the full effect they have on those who are injured.
“In the course of this work, we have identified that a wide range of agencies are involved in managing or preventing injuries arising from dogs. However, currently the extent to which these efforts are coordinated is limited.”
“An initial goal of this collaboration will be to identify key targets for intervention to minimise the risk and impacts of dog bites and to develop an essential method to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.”
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Source: Liverpool Echo