Merseyside dog attacks: ‘They should be banned’ and ‘bring back dog licenses’
Merseyside has one of the highest rates of dog bite injuries in the country.
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Dog bites have become such a big problem in our region that Merseyside Police launched their ‘Taking the Lead’ campaign last month in an attempt to reduce the amount of incidents, through guidance and advice.
Research from the University of Liverpool shows that across the country the greatest number of hospital admissions for dog bites is in the Liverpool City Region. With three of the six boroughs in the top ten local authorities in the country.
- On Tuesday, a young boy was taken to hospital after being bitten on the face by a dog in a ‘terrifying’ attack in Birkenhead.
- On Saturday, a three-year-old girl had to be rushed to hospital after being attacked by a Pit Bull Terrier - now an illegal breed in the UK - outside a pub in Kirkby town centre.
- In July, a seven-year-old girl suffered multiple injuries after being mauled by an XL bully in Wallasey and had to be taken to hospital.
- In 2022, there were two fatal dog attacks in Merseyside.
Historic figures show that between 1998 and 2018 around 5% of all national hospital admissions for dog bites occurred in Merseyside.
Police data shows that children under 16 are most likely to be the victims of dog bites, and this risk increases significantly in the summer when more children are at home with their pets or around other people’s dogs and are also spending more time in public spaces.
Although parks and beaches have been identified as hot spots for incidents, dog bites can happen anywhere, and most bites occur in the home. Any offences that happen in private can be prosecuted in the same way as bites in public.
We’ve been on the streets of Liverpool to ask you what you think of the policing of dog breeds and dog safety.
- Jean said: “I’m starting to think that they should bring back dog licenses.”
- Kathy said: “People say it’s alright, they won’t touch you, they won’t bite. I say no.”
- Chris said: “I don’t think you should ever have dogs around children or babies. Not ever.”
Dog bite hot spots in Merseyside
Statistics provided by the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool show that there tends to be more dog bites in areas with socio-economic challenges in Merseyside.
Between 1998 and 2018, Knowsley had the most incidents per population, across 333 local authorities in England. St Helens was the fifth highest for hospitalisation rates, Liverpool was sixth, Sefton was 30th and Wirral came in at 106th.
Watch the video above for our full feature on dog bites in Merseyside and to hear more from the Liverpool public.