Incredibly, more than 100 dog attacks have taken place in Edinburgh during the past six months, including one where a 12-month-old baby was bitten, it was revealed today.The shocking figure, which includes attacks against children, adults and other animals, is twice the amount recorded in the whole of 2009 and clearly highlights a growing and very serious problem. The figures show that only one of the dogs involved in the 102 attacks recorded since January 1 was on a lead and all but 36 of the incidents happened in public spaces such as on roads and pavements, in parks or in open fields Last year 52 dog attacks were recorded by Lothian and Borders police. In 2008 around 43 attacks were reported. The attacks this year included 26 bites to children, 30 to adults and 39 to other dogs. Four cats and two swans were killed. A one-year-old was bitten and a toddler was also attacked but only around 12 people were charged for owning dangerous animals and only two of the animals were put down. Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Mike Flynn today said the number – which is the highest in at least five years – showed that people needed to drastically change their attitudes to owning and training dogs. He said the new Control of Dogs Bill, set to come into force next year, was a much-needed change to the law and would ensure owners kept their pets under control. However, his use of the word ‘pet’ to describe for example a pit bull bred for fighting is a complete misnomer as these dogs are primarily status symbols used to intimidate and terrorise. At present, making a claim for compensation following a dog attack in Scotland can be difficult as the process is often hampered by the problem of identifying the owner and proving that the animal is dangerous. Bonnar & Company believes that the passing of the Control of Dogs Bill in Scotland is a welcome step in helping innocent victims of dog attacks in Scotland achieve justice and financial compensation for their injuries because it means that every dog, every owner and every location, including previously ‘exempt’ private homes, will now be included in the provisions of the new Act, which will come into force next February. If you or a member of your family would like to discuss your legal options arisng from a dog attack, then please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation case review.
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