Another reason for “deserts based” rationing of health care. All pets should be insured, all dogs should be licensed and muzzled. This toll of damaged people is too high to ignore. Co-payments are the answer.. Why not have a licence fee, increased for any owner, after his dog has had to be put down – as these people often buy another?
The number of people being treated in hospital after dog attacks has risen three times faster than the rate of general hospital admissions.
Parents were warned never to leave their small children alone with the animals as it emerged that 1,159 under-nines had been admitted to hospital because of dog bites in the past year.
A charity urged ministers to overhaul “ineffective” new laws intended to control dangerous dogs following the figures showing that there had bad been 7,227 hospital admissions linked to dog attacks in the past 12 months.
This was a 7.7 per cent increase on the previous year and up 76 per cent in a decade, during which time the overall number of people admitted to hospital rose by 25 per cent, according to statistics released yesterday by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The most common wounds were to the wrists, hands and forearms, although young children were most likely to be bitten on the head. Boys aged between five and nine are most at risk.
Merseyside was the most dangerous area, with 322 cases of people being treated after dog attacks, followed by Durham, Darlington and Tees, and Thames Valley. The safest places were London, Kent and Medway, Surrey and Sussex.
Trevor Cooper, the legal specialist at the Dogs Trust, said the charity had been frustrated by changes to the law controlling dangerous dogs brought in by the government last year.
However, Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said the rise in hospitalisations because of dog attacks was more likely to reflect changes in the way they were recorded and an increase in dog ownership.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said it was working with vets and groups representing dog owners to “promote dog welfare and responsible ownership”.
“Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act introduced last year have enabled the police and local councils to take stronger action and we are working closely with them on enforcement issues such as giving warning notices to owners if their dogs are not under proper control,” she said.