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The effect of breed-specific dog legislation on hospital treated dog bites in Odense, Denmark-A time series intervention study

Journal article
Authors F. Nilson
J. Damsager
J. Lauritsen
Carl Bonander
Published in Plos One
Volume 13
Issue 12
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Metrics
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.020...
Keywords epidemiology, demography, injuries, children, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Epidemiology

Abstract

As dog bite injuries are a considerable problem in modern society, in order to reduce such injuries, breed-specific legislation has been introduced in a number of countries. Whilst many studies have shown a lack of effect with such legislation, the commonly used methodology is known to be flawed. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the Danish breed-specific legislation on the number of dog bite injuries using more credible methods. A time series intervention method was used on a detailed dataset from Odense University Hospital, Denmark, regarding dog bite injuries presented to the emergency department. The results indicate that banning certain breeds has a highly limited effect on the overall levels of dog bite injuries, and that an enforcement of the usage of muzzle and leash in public places for these breeds also has a limited effect. Despite using more credible and sound methods, this study supports previous studies showing that breed-specific legislation seems to have no effect on dog bite injuries. In order to minimise dog bite injuries in the future, it would seem that other interventions or non-breed-specific legislation should be considered as the primary option.

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