According to the Australian Shark Attack File, kept by researchers at Sydney’s Taronga Conservation Society, there have been 1045 shark attacks in Australia since records began in 1791, and 236 of them have been fatal. The initial decline was followed by a steady increase of 5.9% on average over the remainder of the study period. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Breeds such as Great Dane and Akita were found to have a lower relative risk of biting; however, the average damage from these bites was high. The increases occurred despite the introduction of the Domestic Animal Act, the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal Management Act in individual states and territories between 1985 and 2008, and of breed‐specific legislation in some states and territories between 2004 and 2009. Table 1 presents age‐and sex‐specific estimates of incidence density for the study period 2001–13. According to the CDC, only 1.8% of all dog bites treated in Emergency Departments result in hospitalization. The longer‐term trends in dog bite injuries and their underlying driving factors are worthy of comment. It is the first national study to report the incidence of hospitalisation for injuries due to dog bites for an extended period with complete coverage of all public hospitals in Australian states and territories. Of all states and territories, the highest rates were recorded in the Northern Territory. First, there has been an increase in the number of households with dogs. This study provides aggregate level data on the incidence of hospitalisation due to injuries from dog bites in Australia for an extended period, thereby addressing the critical lack of information on this public health problem. France has 17 dogs per 100 people, one of the highest ratios in the world, and a dog population of about 7.4 million. Learn more. Irresponsible dog owners are causing angst in suburbia by allowing their dogs to roam out of control, with nearly five attacks occurring each day this year across Perth. South East Queensland was once home to one of Australia's largest population of koalas. It highlighted that, on average, 1–2 persons died due to dog bites each year. For this analysis, data from injury surveillance units and data registries of individual states and territories have been used. I feel that dog ownership in Australia is a right and a privilege, let’s keep it that way before rights and privileges are removed. Many people do not believe these statistics apply to their dog because they ''did so much research before deciding upon the breed''. Who is most at risk? Every year, there are fatal dog attacks in Australia. Unfortunately, dog attacks are very common and happen every day. Dog bites and attacks can be traumatic, life-changing experiences, and they account for 386,000 emergency-room visits each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the restriction to injuries sufficiently serious to require hospitalisation provides a strong focus on important and significant injuries and ensures that the data were based on a distinct criterion (hospitalisation). Many dog attacks go unreported so the number of dog attacks is likely to be even higher. Source of fatal dog attack statistics: National Canine Research Foundation and www.dogsbite.org Source of shark attack data: International Shark Attack File, June 9, 2014. As a parent, I can only imagine the horror of feeling helpless while your child is being attacked or bitten. Conclusion: Dog bites are a largely unrecognised and growing public health problem in Australia. The same research has shown that children raised with dogs learn more quickly and are apt to have fewer social issues; if an adolescent develops a relationship with a dog they have a friend and are less likely to fall into teenage traps such as anorexia or bulimia. We take all animal attacks seriously and will investigate any reported incidents. Trends in sex‐specific incidence density were estimated by Poisson regression of the mean number of hospitalisations in each age/jurisdictional grouping of the midpoint of each year grouping and binary (0/1) terms for each age and jurisdictional grouping other than the reference category, and with the logarithm of the sex‐specific population of the age/jurisdictional grouping entered as an offset. Age‐specific trends in incidence density, 2001–13. Data for Tasmania, ACT and Northern Territory were combined due to small cell counts in some age and sex categories. Four in five dog attacks on children occur in the family home. For the first 11 breeds on our list, attack figures back out to less than two attacks per year. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria, dengue, West Nile disease, yellow fever, and Zika disease cause widespread suffering and death. Annually, about 14,025 citizens are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries. During 2000–01 to 2009–10, presentations to public hospital emergency departments increased by 1.8% per year.23 A Commonwealth Government funding initiative was introduced after 2011 to increase the number of short‐stay units to accommodate these increasing presentations at the public hospital emergency departments.24, 25 Because this increase in numbers of short‐stay units occurred during the later stages of our study period, it could not be responsible for the earlier increases. Every year, there are fatal dog attacks in Australia. Based on how many dogs share our lives and our living space, it should not be surprising that there are so many dog attacks each year. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, This represents on average 496 events per year. 40% of the French people claim to love their dogs like human family members, and dog grooming parlors are to be found in almost every town of the country. Koalas in suburbs Epidemiology of hospitalizations due to dog bite injuries in Israel, 2009-2016, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/dog_bite_incidence_prevention.pdf, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/dog_bite_incident.pdf, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3101.0Mar2015?OpenDocument, http://www.acac.org.au/DogbitepreventionprogramsinAustralia1.8.2007.pdf, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/5ef8016f420622a3ca2570ec00753524!OpenDocument, http://www.ecinsw.com.au/sites/default/files/field/file/Sally%20McCarthys%20Slides%20ED%20Leadership%20Forum%20June%202014.pdf. The next highest rates were recorded in the ACT, followed by Queensland. For the first 11 breeds on our list, attack figures back out to less than two attacks per year. But that's too late, especially if a child has been killed. Rabies has almost been eradicated in France, where strict vaccination requirements for dogs are in place. Mosquitoes are responsible for around 725,000 deaths per year. Taken together, the three articles show that from 1979 to 1996, 304 people in the USA died from dog attacks, making the average number of deaths per year 17. Since 2003, there has been a 57% increase in rates that reached 16.15 per 100,000 per year in 2011–13. They may have had a bad experience that has turned them into a fear-biter, probably the most dangerous of dogs. Most are killed by commercial fishermen for their fins and flesh. We take a cavalier attitude - should my dog bite anyone, then I would have the dog put to sleep. There were 193 dog attacks reported in Frankston this year, including 22 prosecutions for serious attacks. Rates for males were higher than those for females for all age groups prior to 45–54 years. When breaking down Table 1 showing dog attacks by breed Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies and Malamutes are close behind pit bulls but with substantially lower rates of attacks. Biennial incidence density of hospitalisation due to injuries from dog‐bites in Australia, 2001–13. This is a staggering 65% of the overall dog related deaths, at 433 Americans killed between 2005 and 2017. Summary data on hospitalistions due to dog bite‐related injuries with an ICD‐10‐AM (WHO International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification) code w54.0 (external cause of injury code) for public hospitals in each Australian state or territory during 2001–13 were sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Every single year there are fatal dog attacks in Australia. Number of times cited according to CrossRef: Antibiotic prescribing in patients who presented to the emergency department with dog bites: A descriptive review of current practice. But although Australia … This study has identified a number of patterns in the statistical data for dog bite injuries in contemporary Australia. In general, the overall trends were replicated in each state and territory during the study period. I have read and accept the Wiley Online Library Terms and Conditions of Use, Dog bite and injury prevention–analysis, critical review, and research agenda, Dog bite incidence in the city of Pittsburgh: A capture‐recapture approach, Dog Bite Incidence and Dog Bite Prevention, Dogs in Society Position Paper [Internet], Dog Bite Incident Reporting and Data Collection, 3101.0 ‐ Australian Demographic Statistics, The public health impact of dog attacks in a major Australian city, Unintentional Dog Bite Injury in Victoria: 2005–7, Treatment of dog bites in the emergency department of the Canberra Hospital 2006–2008, Dog bites among letter carriers in St. Louis, Epidemiologic and clinical aspects of animal bite injuries, Dog bites to humans‐demography, epidemiology, injury, and risk, Review of Dog Bite Prevention Programs in Australia [Internet], Domestic Animals Amendment (Dangerous Dogs) Bill, 4102.0 ‐ Australian Social Trends, 1995 [Internet], Demand for public hospital emergency department services in Australia: 2000–2001 to 2009–2010, The National Health Reform Agreement ‐ National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services, Emergency Department Short Stay Unit (EDSSU) ‐ Also Known as Emergency Medicine Unit (EMU) : Policy and Operational Features [Internet]. 25 percent of fatal attacks are inflicted by chained dogs of various breeds. If you’re out, on a very secure leash and collar, not a harness, harnesses can slip off. If you own a dog, take them regularly to obedience classes (not just puppy school) and do some training with them at home (10 minutes, three to five times a week). The authors point out that many breeds, however, are involved in the problem. Why are people so overly concerned about owl or hawk attacks? This study showed that persons aged 0–4 and 5–9 years had the highest rates of hospitalisation. Enter your email address below and we will send you your username, If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. In conclusion, dog bites result in approximately 19 deaths per year in the United States. Dog attacks are a serious problem that require a serious and effective long-term solution. According to Canine Journal, an organization that compiles and analyzes all of the dog bite attacks in the country, Pit bulls accounted for 284 deaths in those years. Rates of recorded events increased over the study period and reached 16.15 (95%CI 15.78–16.52) per 100,000 during 2011–13. . Dog Bite Statistics by Breed Breed-based statistics are notoriously hard to come by. Based on how many dogs share our lives and our living space, it should not be surprising that there are so many dog attacks each year. The number of rabies-related human deaths in the United States declined during the twentieth century, from more than 100 annually in the early 1900’s to just one or two per year since 1960. No matter how well trained a dog is, the golden rule still stands: never leave a child under the age of 12 unsupervised with a dog. Objective: To estimate the incidence of dog bite‐related injuries requiring public sector hospitalisation in Australia during the period 2001–13. On average each year between 2001 and 2013, 2601 persons required hospitalisation for dog bite injuries in Australia at an annual rate of 12.39 per 100,000. The number of human-shark interactions is strongly correlated with time spent by humans in the sea. Furthermore, without comprehensive data on dog registrations across Australia, it is not possible to track precisely trends in the rate of increase in dog ownerships or the increase in ownership of specific breeds of dogs. If your dog is aggressive, secure the dog. These analyses were solely based on AIHW data. Horses (including ponies and donkeys) were the most ‘deadly’ animal in Australia, causing 77 deaths in 10 years, mostly related to falls. The study concluded that dog attacks were most common with the following breeds: Labrador retrievers: 13.3%; Pit Bulls: 8.4%; German Shepherds: 7.8% The RSPCA receives thousands of animals every year in every state and territory in Australia. While those two attacks occurred in close succession to each other, the year has been relatively attack-free. Some do bite more often because of their genetic make-up, while others will have a tendency to bite because of their environment. A position paper by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 20127 on dog bites in Australia recommended updating the current data and investing in further research on the epidemiology of dog‐related injury including dog bites. In 2002–03, ICD‐10‐AM w54 was sub‐classified into ICD‐10‐AM W54.0 to record dog bite injuries, and ICD‐10‐AM W54.8 to record injuries due to being struck by dogs respectively. There are a large number of shark attacks off the coast of Australia because more people have been going into the waters. The rest are charitably described by Midway as being akin to “dog bites.” In the 55 years between 1960 and 2015, officials reported a total of 1,215 shark attacks in the US. There was no coverage of dog bites not treated in public hospitals. This male: female disparity was not continued at older ages. The more pronounced downturn in rates for males than females between 2001–03 and 2003–05 would be explained if males are more often struck by dogs than females. On average that's 75 koalas killed each year from dog attacks. The high incidence and incidence density for 0–4 and 5–9 year olds are consistent with findings of previous national6 and jurisdictional reports.1, 9-11 Children are considered to be at a greater risk of dog bites due to their inexperienced handling of animals,12 their innate curiosity,12-14 and their inability to defend themselves against an animal attack15 due to their small stature.6, The excess of male cases in each age category of persons younger than 45 years is consistent with findings from international studies,12-16 that have reported higher rates of hospitalisation due to dog bites among males. Quadratic terms in the mid‐point of each year groupings were included to capture non‐linearities. Annual statistics on the numbers of animals received, reclaimed or rehomed are compiled on a national basis by RSPCA Australia. It is estimated that about 39% of Australian households now own a dog.20 The Australian Bureau of Statistics online resources indicate that married couples with dependants were most likely to have pets, with 49% of those households owning a dog.19 This heightened exposure to dogs as a result of increase in households with dogs may have contributed to the increase in rates over time. Prevention initiatives targeting children may have warded off the increases in rates experienced by those aged 15 years or greater, which occurred despite breed‐specific legislation in Australia to regulate breeding and ownership of dangerous dogs. 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