'awful' | 

Witnesses left in ‘shock’ as boy seriously injured after pitbull attack while playing with friends in Wexford

The child was airlifted to hospital following the dog attack in Enniscorthy yesterday afternoon Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene and the dog has since been put down

Amy MolloyIndependent.ie

A young boy is in a serious condition in hospital after he was viciously attacked by a pitbull in Co Wexford yesterday afternoon.

It is understood the dog attacked the boy while he was playing with his friends in Enniscorthy.

Gardaí and emergency services attended and the dog has since been destroyed.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Rescue 117 helicopter transported the boy to Crumlin Children’s Hospital where he is “undergoing treatment for serious injuries”.

Locals who witnessed the attack described it as “shocking” and “awful”.

Gardaí say their enquiries are ongoing.

TheIrish Independentpreviously reported how there has been a rise in the number of dog attacks on humans and other dogs in the last five years.

There were 1,705 attacks on humans reported between 2016 and 2021.

Since 2016, gardaí have received reports of 1,351 attacks on livestock.

There has been a decline in the last two years, with 164 reported in 2021 compared to 250 in 2016.

However, the number of attacks on people has increased, with 1,705 reported between 2016 and 2021.

There were 250 attacks in 2016, 253 in 2017, 294 in 2018, 302 in 2019, 277 in 2020 and 329 in 2021.

Dogs Trust Ireland launched a ‘Be Dog Safe’ campaign earlier this year after learning that 320 people were hospitalised in 2020 due to dog bites.

There have also been a number of serious dog attacks in Ireland this year.

In June, a child had to be rushed to hospital after a dog attack in south Dublin.

The young boy was attacked in his own home by a dog believed to be a cross between a pit bull and a presa canario.

The city council had to call in a lion expert after fears the animal would be too dangerous to handle and a tranquiliser gun was used to sedate the animal.

The dog was later put down.

In Ireland, laws introduced in 1998 imposed restrictions on 11 different breeds of dog including Rottweilers, German shepherds (Alsatians), English bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, bull mastiffs, Dobermann pinschers, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Japanese akitas, Japanese Tosas and any dogs which are a cross of those on the list.

Included in the restrictions are that the animals be muzzled while in public and held on a strong lead by a person above the age of 16.

Campaigners have sought to get dogs removed from the list. However, farmers who have lost livestock and those who have been victims of dog attacks are calling for greater controls on canines – and not just those on the restricted list.

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