Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

Yet another tragic human death, this time an 11 month old baby girl, as a result of a dog attack.

There have been between 18 and 25 deaths recorded in the UK since 2005 as a result of dog attacks.

Most, but not all, have been caused by “bull type” breeds such as pit bulls and their crosses, American bulldogs, bull mastiffs and Rottweilers.

The common denominator in most of these cases is that the dogs are powerfully built breeds originally bred for either fighting or guarding.

They were not bred for keeping as pets and general companionship.

Who with any knowledge would recommend taking on such a dog to fulfil that role when there are hundreds of more suitable dogs to choose from?

Clearly dogs of any breed can, and do, bite people and the good old docile Labrador is as guilty as anyone when certain situations present themselves.

But, despite being the most popular pedigree pet dog in the country, Labradors are not top of the list for killing people.

The difference between those dogs that do and don’t kill is the animals that press home the attack: namely those breeds mentioned previously.

Remove dogs of this type from the pet owning public and the albeit small number of human deaths attributed to dog attacks would all but disappear.

Why should people who simply want a pet dog complain that such dogs are no longer available to them.

Rather than insisting that everybody needs to license their dog, a list of breeds could be drawn up for which strict licensing rules would be enforced.

The cost of the licence could be substantial and the person applying for it would attend a course in dog care.

The dogs would need to be microchipped and not be allowed in public without being muzzled and on a lead.

These measures may be a step too far but there would be many other breeds to choose from.