According to figures released by the NHS this week A&E departments have seen the number of dog bites increase by 94% over the last 10 years with 6,097 being reported in the last year. There was also a 58% increase in the number of people charged and facing criminal proceedings and a 39% rise in the number of adults sentenced from dangerous dog crimes. The worrying increase is causing MP's to look again at the law surrounding dangerous dogs and dog regulation generally. The Environment Department have stated that thet will be announcing new measures early in 2012 that will better protect the public, allow the Police and councils to better enforce the law and ensure dog owners take responsibility for their animals. Labour ministers are critical of the delay in implementing changes to law taking the opportunity to remind the coalition that some 16 months have passed since the last consultation on the reform of the laws and guidance in dangerous dogs and the Government have done nothing. They feel that the Government need to do more in terms of early intervention and education, increasing powers for police and councils and extend dangerous dog laws to private property. They also believe that compulsory micro-chipping should be considered. The increasing number of dog attacks not only puts a strain on the resources of the NHS but since 2007 costs of dealing with dangerous dogs has increased tenfold. In 2011 £2.1 million was spent boarding seized dogs.
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