Avoiding Pit Bulls with a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

By Nola
Edited by Admin
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In Bern, the Swiss capital city, there sits a historical site commemorating one of the more morose human practices of the past half millennium. Bärengraben, which literally translates to “bear pit”, served as a pit for bear-baiting, an archaic blood sport in which a bear fought dogs for entertainment. As bear-baiting gained popularity, the dog breeds narrowed in response. Today’s pit bull, as the name suggests, is the result of breeding for vicious, bear-fighting traits. And instead of staying sequestered in Bärengraben, today’s pit bulls wander the streets—or, at least, they did until Ontario instituted a ban on pit bulls. But does this ban, which has the support of any dog bite injury lawyer, really have an effect on dog safety? According to Toronto personal injury lawyers, the facts might surprise you.


Dog Bite Statistics in Canada


While dog injuries only represent 1% of total injuries in the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), they nonetheless amounted to 1,237 total injuries in 1996 (before the pit bull ban was instated). At 29%, children aged 5-9 suffered the majority of these injuries. 73% of dog injuries are from bites: there’s a reason we refer to a Toronto personal injury lawyer as a dog bite injury lawyer. Even more troubling than all of this, 40% of all injuries were to the head, face, or neck. Clearly, dog injuries pose a problem to Canadians. The question is, does banning pit bulls help?


Studying the Pit Bull Ban


Though animal rights and protections organizations like the SPCA and Humane Society vocally oppose breed-specific animal bans, and, in fact, have lobbied politicians to repeal the legislation, recent epidemiological research has shown that there is a significant link between the ban and bite-related hospitalizations. For instance, since the ban in August of 2005, Toronto’s annual dog bite totals have steadily declined. However, not all jurisdictions demonstrated such straightforward results.


The Winnipeg Case


Ontario isn’t the only province with a pit bull ban. Manitoba also established a ban, yet it’s capital, Winnipeg, has not experienced the success of Toronto—or so it seems on the surface. Winnipeg’s dog bite injury numbers stayed more or less level after the pit bull ban, but the researchers had a theory. They noticed that, over the same period of time as the ban, Winnipeg’s total number of pet dogs rose, which may have led to more bites. They thus compared Winnipeg to Brandon, Manitoba, a city that opted not to enforce the ban and also experienced a comparable rise in pet ownership, as a means of offsetting the pet increase. Factoring in Brandon, the researchers found that Winnipeg did, in fact, exhibit a relative decline in dog bites.


Toronto Personal Injury Lawyers Follow the Stats


With experience defending those injured by pit bulls, any dog bite injury lawyer knows the danger that this breed harbours. After all, no matter the training, a dog purpose-bred for fighting bears has a far higher likelihood of lashing out than a dog purpose-bred for resembling a goat. Even with the pit bull ban, obstinate owners and animal activists alike insist on tempting fate and keeping pit bulls in the province. If you’ve been bitten, call a dog bite injury lawyer today.