Geneva: Dog bites on the rise


GenevaDog bites on the rise

In 2022, 500 canine attacks were listed by the Veterinary Affairs Service. Professionals believe that there should be a return to compulsory courses.

In 2022, 239 bites against humans, including 42 children, were recorded in Geneva.

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Half a thousand cases in 2022. This is the number of assaults by dogs that the Consumer and Veterinary Affairs Service (SCAV) has had to deal with, which has just published its annual report. This represents an increase of 25% compared to the previous year, when 386 attacks were counted. Among these cases, 239 were bites against humans, an increase of 42% compared to 2021. In parallel, 1,335 new dogs were registered in the canton in 2022 for a total of 35,868 canids.

While the canton of Friborg decided in February to reintroduce compulsory courses for dog owners, as Valais, Neuchâtel and Jura had done before, Geneva and Vaud only oblige owners of large dogs to take them. .

Above all educate the masters

Questioned, specialists in canine education in Geneva believe that there should again be compulsory training and for all types of dogs. In particular, this would allow dog trainers to intervene earlier to correct any errors by the owner, because “in general, we recover the dog once the accident has happened”, relates a professional.

Because it is above all the owner who must be made aware, explains, for her part, Christiane Clément, canine educator: “I think that a return to classes would make it possible to educate the masters. Many do not realize the needs of their dog, they believe that they are left at home and that’s it, when it is important to socialize them. I also consider that the proliferation of bans in public places is harmful to dogs. But these courses should be given for all dogs, without distinction.

Misreading signals

For her part, Francesca Messina of Happy Dogs points out that “the Canton is not doing anything, because there is the mandatory TMC test for large dogs” and puts the increase in bites into perspective: “We should know their seriousness and the context. In Geneva, we can report a dog that jumps on someone and pinches it with its teeth. Nevertheless, the canine educator considers that compulsory lessons would be useful, as long as they are longer than 10 hours and individually: “Three quarters of bites are due to poor reading of warning signs, indicates She. People need to get a minimum of information and above all understand the language of their animal.

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