17th December 2013
Tiger attacks on humans are rare!
But it was only last week that news from the US reported on a 400 pound male Siberian tiger, which mauled a young man. The 25 year old was able to clear a 16 ft high protective fence to enter the tiger’s enclosure at New York’s Bronx Zoo by jumping from a moving, open-sided train ride.
Meanwhile back in the UK... new Sentencing Council guidelines came into force in August, making owners of dangerous dogs in England and Wales face tougher sentences, starting at 6 months but with a maximum of 18 months imprisonment.
According to official figures there has been a rise in the number of people sentenced for dangerous dog offences. The NHS report that there has been a 40 per cent increase at least in the number of people “treated for dog bites and other injuries from dog attacks” in the last four years.
It’s not surprising to also see a corresponding rise in personal injury claims for this type of horrific circumstance as nearly four thousand incidents involving dog bites are now reported every year.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires every dog must wear a collar with a disc attached, which is inscribed with the owner’s name and address, while in a public place. Failure for the dog owner (and any person in charge of the dog) to observe the regulation will lead to a prosecution and a fine.
Dog Control Orders 2006 also gives local authorities the power to issue orders to dog owners to ensure dogs are kept on a lead, kept away from certain areas and to control dog fouling to protect children's playgrounds, beaches or picnic areas.
While dogs, domestic or otherwise owned (or bred) for different reasons, are responsible for most animal attacks and related injury compensation claims, cases involving other types of animals are not unknown. Small children and the elderly can be most at risk from unexpected behaviour from “petting animals”, horses or unusual pets.
In numerous instances, attacks can not only cause serious personal injury, such as facial disfigurement, and tissue scarring, there is often the associated pain, suffering and psychological stress, which can leave a lasting anxiety syndrome long after the statutory three year limit for making compensation claims.