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Dangerous Dogs Catalogue Of Injuries And Deaths Cameron Is Ignoring

The CWU’s ‘Bite Back’ dangerous dogs campaign,  continues unabated as Cameron’s government still refuse to implement law changes which will adequately address the injuries and deaths occurring on private property, every year.

CWU National H&S Officer, Dave JoyceNow the Union has published a catalogue of dangerous dog attacks which have resulted in horrendous injuries and deaths. Including very graphic images, the document can be downloaded via a link at the end of this news item.

Dave Joyce the Union’s National Health, Safety & Environment Officer says on the CWU national website:

"It's outrageous that hard-working and conscientious people, providing a whole range of vital public services have been, effectively, treated the same as criminal trespassers by the law. We desperately need new laws to protect victims and promote responsible dog ownership to prevent attacks taking place."

You would have thought that the argument from the CWU alone, never mind the wider campaign made up of a consortium of groups which include, the RSPCA, Kennel Club, the Police Federation, Association of Chief Police Officers, Royal College of Nursing, and Royal Mail; would have resulted in changes to the law; not to mention the fact that it would mean fewer pieces of legislation which this government favours, as existing laws would be amalgamated into one item of legislation if the proposals in the ‘Bite Back’ campaign were implemented.

According to figures from the NHS, 6,005 adults and children were admitted to hospitals over the year to March 2011, after being "bitten or struck by a dog", the fifth successive year-on-year increase.

But the cost to the public alone should be galvanising a government that puts profits and tax payers money before the needs of the employer and vulnerable; to actually do something.

Kennelling types of dogs suspected of being dangerous, cost police at least £3.7m in 2010, according to figures given to BBC Newsnight.

CWU Catalogue of dangerous dog attacks - Click to download in pdf format.During that period, 2,493 dogs were held by the 29 police authorities in England and Wales that kept records.

Two particularly horrific cases were the injuries suffered by postmen in Sheffield and Cambridge, both of whom almost lost limbs while carrying out their duties because of the irresponsibility of dog owners.

In 2009 a four year old child John Paul Massey, who lived in Wavertree in Liverpool constituency was mauled to death by a pit bull terrier at his uncle's house.

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Wavertree was featured on BBC’s Newsnight programme last week, calling for changes to the law.

She said that the changes being proposed had the backing of MPs, animal welfare organisations, business groups and Trade Unions. She also mentioned the CWU’s ‘Bite Back’ campaign.

"This isn't a party political issue, there are MPs from across the house... that are demanding of government to wake up, pay attention and take some action. We cannot afford to see another child die. We've seen six children lose their lives since 2006," she said.

An excellent short news video was broadcast at the beginning of what was good coverage of the issues by the Newsnight programme, followed by a debate between Luciana Berger, MP and Mark Littlewood Mark Littlewood from think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.

As can be expected, the former Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats was totally against changing the law and said doing so was simply another example of health & safety gone mad.

He argued that people took ‘knowing risks’ when going into private property, and that any law changes should ensure responsibility is with the individual and appropriate compensation and criminal court action should be taken when injuries occur. But he challenged those wanting to change the law as wanting some government quango, ‘a sort of ‘OFDOG’, to be created which was ridiculous, he said.

Ms Berger on the other hand made a strong case for further urgent legislation and has called on the government to take "urgent action" and grant the police powers of preventative action which could avoid the need, and cost, of kennelling.

She added that proposals by those involved in the dangerous dogs campaign, would allow police to take action on private property, produce dog control notices and instigate compulsory micro-chipping, so that dogs and their owners can be traced more easily.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have amended their laws on dangerous dogs in 2010 and 2011 respectively to reflect concern from those who enter a private property where a dangerous dog is a threat to their safety.

Currently the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, which applies to England and Wales, bans four types of dog:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

As mentioned above, the CWU have just issued a document, compiled by the Union’s National Health & Safety Department which details harrowing accounts of injuries and deaths caused by dangerous dogs attacking members of the public and postal and telecoms workers.

It lists a total 8 children and 5 adults killed between 1989 and 2012 and states that over 6,000 postal workers are bitten each year as they go about their work.

The document provides facts and photographs of some of the most publicised cases, and is not for the squeamish, given the clarity of the photographs in illustrating just what dog bites can do by way of injuries, not to mention cause the death of both adults and children.

You can view two videos relating to the BBC’s Newsnight programme item on dangerous dogs on the BBC News website here

Sign the Dangerous Dogs petition to the government to change existing legislation here

Download the CWU Dangerous Dogs document here

See also: CWU Dangerous Dogs Campaign Petition Launched

Source: CWU / BBC News website

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