Objective To analyse population-based data on hospitalisation caused by dog bite injuries after changes in legal regulations on dog ownership, including breed-specific regulations.
Design Descriptive study.
Setting Hospitals in Catalonia (Spain), 1997–2008.
Subjects Persons hospitalised with injuries caused by dog bites.
Results There has been a significant decline in hospitalisation caused by injuries from dog bites from 1.80/100 000 in 1997–9 to 1.11/100 000 in 2006–8, after the enactment of stricter regulations on dog ownership in 1999 and 2002. The magnitude of this change is significant (−38%), and has been greatest in less urban settings.
Conclusions Government regulations were associated with a sizable decrease in injuries caused by dog bites in Catalonia. More evaluative studies in this field may provide criteria to focus future regulations and other preventive interventions.
- dog bites
- government regulation
- health services
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Funding Funded by in-house resources, and partial support from the CIBER ESP.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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