Fatal Dog Bites Share Common Factors
The Journal of the American Veterinary Association has published an article on fatal dog bites. This also shows how far media reports can be from the truth.
Potentially Preventable Husbandry Factors Co-occur in Most Dog Bite-Related Fatalities | National Canine Research Council
AMVA journals abstract
journal table of contents with short version
There are 5 preventable reasons that most fatal dog attacks have in common - and breed is not one of them.
#1 - There is nobody strong and able enough to prevent/stop the attack. 87%
#2 - The victim is a stranger to the dog. 85% (but the attack can be at the dog's home)
#3 - the dog is not desexed - 84%
You often get people saying that desexing made no difference to their dog but when it comes to serious injuries from dog attacks - seems the desexed dogs are in the minority - less than 15%.
#4 - the victim can't / doesn't behave appropriately around dogs - this applies to small children, and mentally or physcially disabled people. If you can't train your children (or handicapped friend) how to behave - especially with dogs they don't know - then protect them.
#5 - The dog is a backyard garden ornament - and deprived of human contact. 76% - so it's the family pet but not part of the pack.
lastly but significantly...
#6 - The owner has mismanaged the dog in the past (37.5%)
(is this training it to attack or failing to train bite inhibitiion)
or has abused or neglected the dog (21.1%)
(a starving dog will eat what it can catch).
As far as breed goes - only 18% of breeds could be identified (not what you'd get from the media) and of those - there were 20 different breeds (not all pitbulls or whatever breed is media flavour of the year).
So BSL will not do anything to prevent dog attacks - something the Italians can already tell you. They banned 95 different breeds of dogs - and yet there were still dog attacks. It's down to the owners about 85% of the time.