THE British Horse Society is encouraging horse riders and owners to respond to a consultation document issued by the government on dangerous dogs.

Defra is consulting on a number of options as to how the current situation regarding dangerous dogs might be improved.

The British Horse Society is keen to see as many equestrians as possible respond to the consultation.

The society has been collecting information from the victims of dog attacks over the last 10 years in an effort to demonstrate the impact of dangerous dogs on horse riders and owners.

During that time, more than 97 reports have been received from victims of dog attacks – 74 of which have occurred in the last three years – and this only covers those reported to the BHS.

Ten of these attacks proved fatal for the horse and another 42 resulted in injury to a horse. Alongside this, 43 riders and owners have suffered injury, demonstrating that dangerous dogs have serious implications for equestrians.

The society believes the consultation on dangerous dogs raises many pertinent issues to owners and riders of horses, proving their vulnerability to attacks by dangerous dogs.

Mark Weston, BHS director of access, safety and welfare, said: “The number of reported incidents is continuing to rise and steps to make dog owners responsible for their animal’s behaviour would be welcomed by the society.

“Any new legislation should cater for dog attacks on horses and riders as they, as proven by our reports, are increasing.”