Keep dog attacks all in perspective

YOUR correspondent (Rye Observer, February 24) argues for all dogs to be kept on a short lead in public. As recently as two years ago Rother District Council made The Dogs on Leads (Rother District) Order 2010. This specifies places where dogs must be kept on leads. The Order was made following public consultation.

In Fairlight a consultation exercise was held about Wood Field Recreation Ground.

There was little support for the proposition that dogs be kept on leads, a finding which must have been repeated across much of Rother, judging from the few places covered by the Order.

There is clearly a need to educate the public in dog handling, and legislation has its place. However, we need to keep a sense of proportion. According to the Office of National Statistics the average number of human deaths caused by dogs per year has been 2.3 (two point three).

That compares with nearly 3,000 deaths on the roads. An individual is twice as likely to have the winning ticket for the National Lottery as to be killed by a dog, and you are about 1,300 times more likely to be killed on the roads than by a dog. I would imagine that injuries are in proportion.

Sheep worrying is an ugly business, but don’t let us leap from that report to a policy not justified by the statistics.

Andrew Mier

Shepherds Way, Fairlight