Fatal accidents involving dogs and bulls have hit the headlines today (6 August 2013) with the news that the owner of a bull that attacked a walker as he was passing through Waterford Farm with his wife is to be charged.
In relation to accidents involving dogs, it has been announced that the consultation process running until 1 September 2013 on the Dangerous Dogs Act will include proposals to enable the prosecution of a dog owner whose animal injures a person or who kills an assistance dog (guide dog) on private premises. If the proposals are successful, the owners could face a jail term of up to ten years.
Animal welfare minister Lord de Mauley said: “Dog attacks are terrifying and we need harsh penalties to punish those who allow their dog to injure people while out of control. We’re already toughening up laws to ensure that anyone who owns a dangerous dog can be brought to justice, regardless of where a dog attack takes place.It’s crucial that the laws we have in place act as a deterrent to stop such horrific incidents.”
Given the increased focus on accidents caused by animals – and with dog attacks being the main type reported in national media – the proposals are likely to receive significant support as most people believe that dogs need to be under control to protect the general public, whether on private premises or not. The majority of dog owners adhere to this but the minority let dog-lovers down. Some irresponsible dog owners do not appreciate the risks and severity of injury that their dogs can cause and often, it takes an attack to make them realise.
Dog attack statistics
The statistics on dog attacks serve as a real eye-opener on how regular these incidents occur. There have been 210,000 attacks and 6,000 hospital visits said to be caused by dangerous dogs each year. Attacks by other dogs on guide dogs are running at ten a month, which must be devastating for the partially sighted owners and the limited resources providing these services.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of the consultation process and the impact that the increasing media focus will have on proposed changes to the law.
Over the years Lyons Davidson’s Personal Injury and Accident Claims department has a helped a significant number of people recover substantial compensation from these types of injuries with the help of medical experts. We have a specialist team well-experienced in claims for personal injury compensation arising from such incidents, who will guide you all the way.
If you have a claim for accidents involving dogs that you would like to discuss with our team, do not hesitate to call animal injuries specialist Elaine Snell on 0117 904 6326 or email [email protected] for a free initial consultation.