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11 June 2012

Rise In Attacks On Guide Dogs

Attacks on guide dogs by other dogs have reached a new high of more than eight a month, according to the charity, Guide Dogs.

The charity, which campaigns for blind and partially sighted people, has said police should be able to treat an attack on an assistance dog "like an attack on a person", and has called for the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs.

The government is consulting on ways to tackle dangerous dogs and said microchipping was being considered.

Campaign manager David Cowdrey said: "An attack on any dog is frightening, but for a guide dog owner it is much worse.

"As well as physical injuries, each dog attack leaves a deep psychological scar for both the owner and the guide dog.

"In the worst cases guide dogs have to be retired early; in others they are left unable to work for a significant amount of time."

He added: "Ultimately, we want [police] to be given the power to treat an attack on a guide dog or any other assistance dog like an attack on a person."

The charity said attacks had risen consistently in recent years, and the latest figure was up from seven a month in September 2011.

(H/GK)





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