Dangerous dog attacks on the rise

By Alex Stevenson

Over 100 people are hospitalised every week because of dog attacks, new figures have revealed.

The Conservatives established that the total number of cases of people being sent to hospital because of dog attacks rose from 5,221 in 2009, a significant increase from the 3,079 cases reported in 1997/98.

Convictions have increased apace, with the total number of convictions for allowing out-of-control dogs to injure other people rising from 239 in 1998 to 481 in 2009.

The figures came before the government announced new proposals to clamp down on dangerous dogs.

“All we’ve really had for the past decade under this government is a series of speeches and headline-grabbing announcements about the things there were going to do to tackle problems like dangerous dog offences,” shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said.

“But in the end nothing has ever happened. If Labour are re-elected in May all we’ll get is the same tired-out old approach and none of the changes the country really needs.”

There were 95 convictions in 2008 for owning an illegal fighting breed such as a Pit Bull Terrier or Japanese Fighting Dog – which, according to the Conservatives, is nearly as many as every year since 1998 combined.