I read Judi's letter on Rachel Lamb's (from HSUS) attitude about dog
bites, and was angered but not surprised. As I said in my letters to
CBS and the HSUS, no one would seriously advocate banning dogs because
of the serious PR/political backlash - there are more dogs than ferrets
in the US, and thus more dog _owners_.
I found the stats I quoted to them. These are courtesy of the
Baltimore Ferret Club.
* An 1988 article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Association reported: "Statistics from the Center [sic] for Disease
Control and an article in the JAMA indicate that the number of bites
inflicted by ferrets appears to be substantially lower than those by
dogs and cats. These statistics were compiled from 1978-1988 and were
reported on a yearly basis: between 1 and 3 million dog bites, compared
to 65 ferret bites in 10 years. Serious bite injuries were recorded as
44.000/year for dogs and 12/year for ferrets..."
* If you use the populations of dogs and ferrets (500 million vs. 6
million in 1988) to correct the above statistics for size, the rate per
year would be 8.8 bites/yr for 10,000 dogs and .02 bites/yr for 10,000
ferrets. This makes dogs over 200 times more likely to bite than ferrets.
* Dog bites can be fatal to children. There were 157 dog-bite related
deaths in the US (1978-1988). 70% of these were children under 10
years old. 25 were infants under 1 year old, and for these, "all
involved pet dogs, and all but one attack occurred in the home and
involved a single animal. Ten attacks occurred while the infant was
sleeping or in a crib." (Sachs, Sattin, & Bonzo, 1990. JAMA, 262,
Calm down before you write that letter - I know how infuriating reading
those comparative statistics can be. Don't come off looking like a
dog-hater, either. I mentioned having grown up in a home with dogs,
but emphasized the possible danger of dogs, more so than ferrets.
Keep writing those letters -
/\\ ____ ,^-o, Denise Voskuil - [log in to unmask]
``-,' `-';~~ Brain: "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
.',-'~`../' Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but if we didn't have
`^^ `^^ ears we'd look like weasels." ("Animaniacs")
"Ferrets are kittens with leather jackets and no fear!" -John Reed
[Posted in FML issue 1221]