Dog attacks on horses on the rise

  • Reports of dog attacks on horses have almost doubled in the past year, says the British Horse Society (BHS).

    There was a 43% increase in dog attacks reported to the BHS site www.horseaccidents.org.uk in June 2013, compared with June 2012.

    “We have noticed a marked increase,” said Sheila Hardy from the BHS.

    “These reports enable us to work more effectively with those making changes to legislation, to try to ensure that our concerns are addressed.”

    The Government last week (6 August) launched a consultation proposing harsher punishment for the owners of dogs that kill someone.

    But the BHS says more needs to be done to beef up the law to deal with incidents of dogs attacking horses. Critics say current legislation is not effective.

    Ms Hardy added: “We will definitely be pushing for stronger laws and wider employment of dog legislation officers, so that when riders report incidents, there is a competent person who will be able to take the issue forward.”

    However, a Defra spokesman reminded riders that there is already legislation that can cover dog attacks on horses.

    “We are taking action against irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to be dangerously out of control. An owner that allows their dog to attack a horse can be prosecuted and sentenced to up to two years in prison,” he added.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (15 August 2013)

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