This is according to campaigning organisation Born Innocent, who have analysed data by the ONS (Office of National Statistics).
According to the organisation, the number of dogs in the UK is believed to have increased by 16% since the Dangerous Dogs Act came into force 26 years ago, and since the introduction of the Act, the average number of deaths due to dog bites in the UK is 2.8 people per year.
To give this context, the average number of bites for the ten years prior to the introduction of the Act was 1.1 per year - meaning that since the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced there has been a rise of 155%, which brings questions forward about the Act's effectiveness.
Deaths by dog bites are still incredibly rare and the chances of one happening are 0.00005% - in fact, according to the data released by the ONS, you are more likely to die of eye disease, drowning in the bath or by other mammals, such as cows and pigs: all of these situations cause more deaths than dogs every year.
Speaking about the data analysed, Shaila Bux, Board Member of Born Innocent said, "Understandably, people are very shocked when they see a news report of a dog attack but we must move away from kneejerk reactions and look at how the law can punish irresponsible owners and also protect the public from dog attacks. If we go by statistics, then current legislation has failed in every area that it was set out to tackle.
"We are at a crossroads with the Dangerous Dogs Act (in its current format): politicians must be brave enough to admit that the Act has failed and implement laws that will reduce dog bites whilst at the same time, not punish dogs based on how they look. The law should target irresponsible owners and their dog’s behaviour. Plenty of other countries have achieved this, such as Calgary in Canada who saw a whopping 80% reduction in dog bites once they introduced the ‘Calgary Model’ and the UK should be following the same path."
The Calgary Model Explained
“WE DON’T HAVE A PET PROBLEM, WE HAVE A PEOPLE PROBLEM. We don’t punish breeds, we punish behavior. The bottom line is, we believe all dogs are capable of biting. It’s not controlling pets, it’s about holding people responsible for their pets.” says Bill Bruce, Director of Animal Services Calgary.