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Canine Aggression On The Rise


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http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/canine-aggression-rises-as-funding-bitten-20130720-2qb0q.html

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The number of dog attacks on people in NSW has increased threefold since 2007 but funding for companion animal issues has been cut in the latest budget.

In 2007-08, there were 1791 attacks, government figures show, but the latest figures to March this year show the number of attacks has escalated to 5228.

Blacktown emerges as the most likely place to sustain an injury, with 58 serious attacks and a further 210 less serious incidents. There were a total of 338 ''attack incidents'' in the area. Campbelltown is the second-highest location for serious attacks while, in regional NSW, Wollongong heads the league.

The figures, together with an online interactive graphic showing statewide statistics, were collated after jogger Robbie Nelson's harrowing account to Fairfax Media last week.

Mr Nelson was savagely attacked by three American Staffordshire terriers in Ashcroft in June. The dogs' owner, Michael Ames, did not appear in court on Wednesday and the matter was adjourned until August 28.

On Tuesday, William Sacilotto pleaded guilty to two dog attack charges and was ordered to pay $6400 after his dogs, also American Staffordshire terriers, tore an ear off 20-year-old Ben Arthur as he took his own dog for a walk in East Hills.

Opposition local government spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis said the budget for companion animals had been cut from $6.4 million in 2012-13 to $6.3 million in 2013-14. She said over the past two years, the line item called ''reported dog attacks'' had vanished from government papers.

''Despite an increase in the number of dangerous dog attacks across the state, we have actually seen a cut in the funding from this government,'' she said. ''The approach of this government and particularly this minister [Local Government Minister Don Page] is to do nothing until it is too late. The community deserves better than a minister who is just not taking the issue of dangerous dog attacks seriously.

''The government must increase their resourcing of councils to ensure that they are able to engage in extensive compliance and enforcement.''

Mr Page is awaiting the outcome of a public consultation process to a taskforce report that attracted 5500 responses before deciding on ''next steps''.

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What they fail to take into consideration is the fact that mandatory reporting was introduced across the state. Where "attacks" would have gone reported prior, they are now all required to be reported, regardless.

If you look at how "attack" is now defined, that also plays a big part

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wow staffys attack so many people they get two spots on the list these articles are nothing but the typical media beat up, there is no news in this article just the same garbage that comes out every few months.

Edited by staffydave
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Is anyone else smiling about how much further down the list pit bulls are than even kelpies. :p

Not really, they have just been replaced with staffords and American staffords.

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Unknown 368 compared to Staffords 158, my first thought was that it was the mixed breed that is the issue but who are they relying on to identify the breed that attacked, rangers, the public, the owner?

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Is anyone else smiling about how much further down the list pit bulls are than even kelpies. :p

Not really. Most people are hopeless with identifying breeds and there's plenty of evidence to show such statistics are inherently flawed.

Edited by Haredown Whippets
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Is anyone else smiling about how much further down the list pit bulls are than even kelpies. :p

Not really. Most people are hopeless with identifying breeds and there's plenty of evidence to show such statistics are inherently flawed.

This given it's visual "breed ID".

You would have thought that with all the new legislation to protect us after the death of Tyra Keune that in NSW there wouldn't be much to report ( I need Mr Rolly Eyes ).

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Oh I have no faith in those stats, I was just more thinking about the way it will be percieved by the no clue general public that's all. Might make a few people realise how dumb BSL is.

I'd suggest it will reinforce it because people don't know what they're looking at. BSL is DESIGNED to lower the incidence of danger from some breeds.. those flawed stats would suggest less pit bull attacks means its working.

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True. Personally I think the stats are probably skewed any way. I've been bitten by a couple of dogs over the years and haven't reported any of them, 2 out of 3 were from small fluffies. My daughter was also bitten on the face by a maltese last year and we didn't report that either.

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Given that members of the public have called my white swiss shepherd a poodle, a pyrenean mountain dog, a labrador, a greyhound and even a wolf, I don't hold much faith in the accuracy of the stats.

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I'd tend to find these stats credible because 'breed not identified' is several times more common than any breed. Also, the Staffy is #2 in pedigree registrations in Australia, with numbers comparable to Labbies. In general Staffies are good at escaping. So they should be high on the list. ASBTs are much more common than APBTs so no surprise that they show up more often. So you'd expect aAmStaffs to outnumber pits. Of course there is reporting bias...I'm much more likely to go to council if a Rotti takes a bite of my hand than if a Daschund does. But that's reasonable....a Rotti is much more likely to do serious damage.

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Exactly Dxenion. My basset has been called a dachshund, a sausage dog, a beagle and 'What the blazes sort of dog is that?!'

I'd like to see bite statistics shown as bites per capita per breed. So it would be displayed as X attacks/bites per 1000 dogs of Z breed. that would e a lot more accurate that way as it better takes in to account the popularity of some breeds

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Exactly Dxenion. My basset has been called a dachshund, a sausage dog, a beagle and 'What the blazes sort of dog is that?!'

I'd like to see bite statistics shown as bites per capita per breed. So it would be displayed as X attacks/bites per 1000 dogs of Z breed. that would e a lot more accurate that way as it better takes in to account the popularity of some breeds

No, it wouldn't. The whole point is that breed is only one factor that contributes to what makes for a dangerous dog and a very inaccurate one at that. If you believed the press, virtually every dog attack involves a pitbull when a fair number of those attributions are to dogs with no pitbull in them AT ALL.

You can find such stats but they aren't really helpful in understanding why some dogs bite and more importantly, why most don't.

Edited by Haredown Whippets
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My point is that if stats were displayed that way I suspect it would be found that the prevalence of bites was much more even across the breeds. Staffys are very popular dogs, hence there are lots of them and therefore more bites, but per 1000 dogs the number that are involved in bites could be exactly the same as the number of any other breed. I don't particularly believe in breed stereotyping full stop but if the media feels they must do it then that would be a much more telling way to examine the prevalence of bite likelihood across the breeds by removing the bias of numbers of individuals of each breed. Of course it would never make any difference with the unknown ones.

Of course as far as the media are concerned bite stats shown that way would be much more boring because they'd probably just be a list of almost identical stats.

Edited by kelpiecuddles
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http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/Information/Council%20Reports%20of%20Dog%20Attacks%20in%20NSW%202010-11.pdf

Page 13 has rate of attack per 100 pure bred dogs on register. The crossbred attack stats start on page 17.

KC, you're quite right that although there are far more Staffordshire Bull Terrier attacks (650), there are so many registered dogs (74,567) that the rate of dog per 100 is 0.9.

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