Only remedy is for introduction of legal dog control

The 69,000 A & E admissions for dog-inflicted injuries per year, reported by RosPA, are verifiable facts, not just statistics, as N Lucas (KWN letters last week) claims. To illustrate what the statistics are, here are DEFRA’s ( 740 people per 100,000 of UK population per year are bitten by dogs.

KWN readers may remember an article of February 10 2012, on how unleashed pet dogs killed three sheep at Oaks Farm. The farmer, David Bull, publicly threatened to shoot dogs presenting a similar threat - because unleashed dogs carried on entering the fields of sheep. This, by the way, highlights the legal perversity that we may legally shoot a dog threatening sheep, but have no measures available to protect children.

The worry about sheep is so widespread nationally, that the Farmers Guardian runs an interactive map of reported instances.

As for verifying the extent of fouling of public places, one only needs eyes to see, and feet to tread in it, to know the truth.

What is clear from the verifiable facts, is that the level of injury and misery created by out-of-control dogs has reached a level requiring action.

Mr Lucas suggests that only errant owners should be targeted with control. But dangerous dogs are only known once they have caused real injury, and Mr Lucas’ advice has as much practical value as requiring only drivers who crash their cars to wear a seat belt. Anyway, punishing violaters will cure no injuries - prevention is most pressingly needed, and obliging dogs to be on a lead in a public place is a reasonable balance of freedoms.

Lastly, Mr Lucas gives a version of the dog-apologists favourite deceit: “he’s as much right to be here as you”. If the dog is on a lead and under control, then that is fine. But without such a condition, it is tantamount to saying that the right to molest, maim or cause fear with a dog is equal to the right for a person to take a walk in the park. It perfectly encapsulates stubborn selfishness at work, for which the only remedy is, regrettably, legal control.

Lauren Turner, Lower Ladyes Hills, Kenilworth