Educating humans, not banning breeds, is the key to cutting dog-bite rates.
Didn't they just repeal the law in the UK?!
That is the message Middlemore Hospital paediatric emergency charge nurse and dog behaviourist Donelle Whiu has given Auckland Council and the SPCA, which have sought her advice after her dog-bite study.
Her study found that not one of the 65 bitten children recalled getting education about dog safety. "The council - their jaws dropped over this," Whiu said.
The public needed to be better educated about keeping kids safe around dogs, including keeping them away from animals that were eating, avoiding sudden movements, and teaching them never to approach a stranger's dog without getting permission first.
Rosemary Hagg, the council's northern licensing and compliance manager, said that dog-control officers visited school classrooms with safety messages, but would launch an extra initiative next term to reach more kids in more schools.
The council was spending tens of thousands of dollars contracting the Kids 4 Drama company to deliver 30-minute educational shows at primary school assemblies. The shows featured songs and catchy safety slogans and 130 of the 400 primary schools in the wider Auckland area were to get the talks by the end of the year, beginning in West Auckland.
"I think this is critical," said Hagg. "We're very concerned about the prevention of dog bites and attacks on children."
Yes, yes yes... but it's more than catchy phrases... It's good to have Be a Tree, but also good to have 'what to look for in a dog that is feeling a bit uneasy" Check out DoggoneSafe.com