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The US has the lowest rate of dog-bite injuries per 100,000 people of any developed country in the world.
But the UK has the highest rate of serious injuries in the country, according to a report from the US government.
The US, where the rate of pet bites is more than five times the national average, has been accused of a “slow, silent” adoption of dog parks.
The report, by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Center for Home Health Research (NCHHR), says pet parks are more dangerous for dogs than other parks, due to their proximity to vehicles, low accessibility, lack of a barrier to entry and high-intensity play areas.
“The US does not have a dedicated pet park, so most pet owners have to travel long distances to get their pets,” says Julie L. Grosman, lead author of the report and a senior research scientist at NCHHR.
“In the UK, we have some very good park options that are well-attended and the owners are knowledgeable about the safety of their pets.”
Pet parks have been shown to be associated with a higher rate of injuries and fatalities, but the USDA report notes that it is unclear whether the rate is greater in the UK or in the US.
It is also unclear whether dogs are safer at dog parks in the USA, because the number of dog bites reported to the National Veterinary Medical Association’s (NVMA) annual report has fallen by almost 50 per cent over the last decade.
While the US has one of the lowest rates of dog bite injuries per 1,000 residents, the rate in the United Kingdom is much higher, with a rate of 6,000 injuries per 10,000 population.
The UK has seen a similar decline in injuries from dog bites, with the number in the latest figures for 2014-15 down by more than half.
In a separate report released on Tuesday, the NCHHS said that the number for children under 16 in the NHS in the period to March this year was 3,821, a decrease of almost 25 per cent.
It also said that a further 1,200 cases of hospitalised children between March and September this year were reported to NHS England.
The number of serious dog injuries has also fallen in recent years, the report said.
The number of injuries from a dog bite is higher in the Netherlands than in the U.S., with about 1,400 injuries per 1000 population.
In the U, serious dog bites were most common in England, followed by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The U.K. had the second highest rate in Europe, with about 8,400 dog bites per 1.2 million people, the USDA reported.
The UK had the lowest number of people bitten, with just 1,800 injuries per million people.
The United States, meanwhile, had the third highest number of bites, followed closely by Ireland.
In 2014, the United States had 1,819 dog bites and the UK had 1 (1,811).
In the U of A, the US had 908 dog bites while the UK reported 7 (905).
“The U of T study showed that dogs were most likely to be bitten by dogs of other breeds than their own, such as Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies, as well as the dogs of people who have pet dogs,” said Dr Grosmann.
Dr Grosmans report said that dogs are most likely injured by cats or other wild animals.
She added that people with children have higher rates of serious injury from dog-related injuries than people without children.