Merseyside Police launch campaign to prevent dog attacks as region tops injury list

The force’s Take the Lead initiative gives key safety advice to dog owners and the general public.
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Merseyside Police have launched a new campaign to help prevent dog attacks after the region was revealed to have one of the highest rates of dog bite injuries in the country.

A seven-year-old girl suffered multiple injuries after being mauled by an XL bully in Wallasey last week and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. In 2022, there were two fatal dog attacks in Merseyside.

The force’s Take the Lead campaign urges owners to keep their animals on a lead in public places and advises people not to approach dogs they are not familiar with. Over the summer holidays, Merseyside Police will post a series of videos on their social media platforms to help push the message.

Dr John Tulloch, Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health at the University of Liverpool, said: “From our research, we can see that the greatest number of hospital admissions is in the Liverpool city region, and three of those areas are actually in the top 10 local authorities in the country for dog bites.”

“We know that it’s really closely linked with deprivation. So, some of the poorest communities in our city are going to be the most impacted. The growth of dog bites is going a lot faster than the growth in the dog population. So something else is going on rather than just being more dogs in the city.”

Watch the video above for our full feature and more on the Take the Lead campaign.