Ipswich: Dog bites behind 70 hospital admissions

74 hospital admissions due to dog bites over four years

74 hospital admissions due to dog bites over four years - Credit: Archant

More than 70 people have been admitted to Ipswich Hospital after being bitten or injured by a dog over the last four years, new figures revealed today.

Figures from a Freedom of Information Act shows there were a total of 74 incidents across the period.

Of these, 18 were under 18 years old.

In 2009, 14 people were admitted to the hospital in Heath Road, while the following year 22 people were injured by dogs.

In 2011 it dropped to 16 but rose again to 20 in 2012.

The figures cover all incidents including being bitten by a dog, scratched, knocked over or bruised.

The statistics come following The Star’s recent revelation that the number of dangerous dog attacks in Suffolk has doubled in the last four years

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According to the figures, 529 offences relating to dogs have been reported to police since 2008.

A recent government announcement to make microchipping compulsory for dogs has been backed by animal charity RSPCA.

However the charity claims more needs to be done to tackle the issue of dogs not being properly controlled by their owners.

The charity said that preventative measures, such as dog control notices, are required as well as the introduction of dog registration to improve dog owners’ accountability, deter casual acquirers of dogs and fund owner education services.

Early intervention with owners also helps protect public safety where owners fail to control their dogs, a spokesman added.

David Bowles, RSPCA’s head of public affairs, said: “The number of warnings the RSPCA issued to dog owners due to poor welfare last year was up by 12% on 2011, while the number of dog bites that required hospitalisation has gone up by 26% in the past four years.

“If the government is serious about tackling these very real problems then, we don’t see how the proposals will help reduce either of these figures.

“We have always said that prevention is better than the cure.

“This was Defra’s opportunity to finally tackle the big issues, but instead we believe they have merely tinkered with the existing legislation rather than make the comprehensive reform that dog law enforcers were calling for.”

n How do you think the government should tackle irresponsible dog owners? Tell us by writing to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@archant.co.uk