Ignorance blamed for dog attacks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 July, 1995, 12:00am

IGNORANCE about dogs is the main cause of the recent spate of attacks, say experts.

They said people were unfamiliar with dogs, so owners and the public must both be more careful.

About 18 people, three of them children, were bitten at the weekend and there was another attack yesterday.

But no particular breeds were prone to bite, said Nelson Lam, obedience trainer for the Hong Kong Kennel Club.

'It depends on the training of the dogs, how they are disciplined and cared for,' he said.

'In Hong Kong, people are quite unfamiliar with animals and quite apprehensive about them and dogs can sense that. And many people here hold a hostile attitude towards animals as no one, especially parents, teaches kids to respect them.' Three-year-old Fon Chun-lung was still in hospital last night after being bitten on the face by a dog he kicked at Yuen Long on Saturday.

Mr Lam said dog owners should take the initiative by disciplining and restraining their pets.

Now the Agriculture and Fisheries Department is proposing to categorise dogs on their potential to injure people. Dogs which fall into the dangerous categories will have to be put on a lead and muzzled.

And owners could be jailed and fined up to $100,000 if they fail to control their animals.