LETTER: Promenade dog bite stats low for a reason


According to a study conducted in 2017 by the US Centre for Disease Control, the probability of being bitten by a dog is one-in-69.

The UK has similar results and there is no reason to suppose that the situation in Canada is much different.

The question raised by Coun. Fathers directed at resident Susan Potzold at the Jan. 14 council meeting was a non-sequitur that seemed designed to disingenuously reduce the impact of the material being presented, and to form the basis of a tirade about facts against the presenter.

Coun. Fathers asked the city for the dog-bite statistics for the promenade, an area where, hitherto, dogs were prohibited.

The number given by the city was low. This is not at all surprising, given that dogs should not have been on the promenade in the first place.

However, this information was seized upon by Fathers as proof of there not being a problem, with a demand for the decision to be fact-driven, i.e. using the low number provided by the city, as if it were relevant.

Clearly, the probability of being bitten in an area with no dogs is zero. However, as soon as dogs are allowed into such an area, the probability will shoot up to one-in-69.

No amount of casuistry by Coun. Fathers will alter this fact.

Given the number of people who frequent the promenade, this represents a major problem. The CDC study also indicates that unless severe injuries occur, people do not generally report dog bites, even when infection occurs.

Given these facts, it would seem prudent to continue to ban dogs to protect the continuing safety and comfort of residents on city property.

Keith Knightson, White Rock

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