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Dog attack victim supports calls to make owners liable if pets cause injury on private land
A workman attacked by a dog as he went to service a boiler is backing calls for legislation that will make dog owners liable for prosecution if their pet harms someone on private land.
Plumbing and heating engineer Mick Chyriwsky spent the weekend in hospital after his thumb was bitten to the bone and his left arm punctured when he was set upon by a Japanese Akita dog on Friday at 2pm in Sheridan Street, Bowling, as he went to service a boiler.
He was attacked after a toddler opened the door to him and the dog raced past, but because the incident happened on private land, police class it as a civil matter and are poweless to act.
Currently the law only makes a dog owner liable if an attack is on public land, but in the Autumn that is expected to change with all parties backing a legislation change to make it an offence on private land also.
Mr Chyriwsky is backing that call and will speak with his MP, Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, about the proposed changes and the incident that has left him with serious injuries.
Mr Chyriwsky’s friend Allan Brewster, is the landlord of the property where the incident happened, and has served the dog owner with an eviction notice. The dog owner has claimed that the dog has now been destroyed.
Mr Chyriwsky said: “I am not the sort of person to let stuff put me off, but I am self-employed and can’t work at the moment because of this.
“It is not the fault of the police but something should be done. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the thing that did concern me was that the dog did knock the toddler out of the way to get to me and the mother was actually swearing at her toddler for letting the dog out.
“She didn’t even give a thought to me and just asked me whether I was going to report it.
“I am not impressed with her and I had a lucky escape.”
Asked whether he would back proposals to get the law changed to include attacks on private land, he said: “I definitely would. It is no different to an assault by a human – you still come out with worse injuries.
“I want the law to be changed because it is not right. The police said that their hands are tied, basically.”
Mr Sutcliffe said that he would be speaking with Mr Chyriwsky, adding: “The proposed changes have all-party support.
“Over the years in Bradford I have seen dogs in inappropriate places. Stray dogs are becoming a problem.
“Those dog owners who do look after their pets are scared of the legislation because they get a bad name because of the irresponsible owners.”
A Police spokesman said that they had spoken to Mr Chyriwsky, but the dog was not a banned breed and it happened on private land, so was a civil matter.