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The number of dog attacks in South Wales have risen by almost 50% in the last year
The number of dog attacks reported in South Wales has almost doubled over the last year, according to police figures.

Statistics released by South Wales Police showed 39 dogs were seized in 2014-15 after allegedly being responsible for an attack injuring at least one person.

This is compared to 20 dogs confiscated for an aggravated offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act in 2013-14 and 10 dogs seized in 2012-13.

An aggravated offence is defined as an attack causing an injury to one or more person.

Total number rose year-on-year

The total number of dangerous dogs seized by the force rose year-on-year from 90 to 95 in 2014-15 but remained much lower than 2012-13 when 132 dogs were seized.

The number of dangerous dogs destroyed in the last full financial year was 37 - down from 53 the year before and also lower than the 2012-13 figure of 45.

Figures released by Gwent Police also showed a rise in the number of dangerous dogs seized by officers, with 12 dogs seized in 2014-15 compared to eight the previous year.

Only three dogs were destroyed by the force in 2014-15. All three were boxer cross-breeds and had been dangerously out of control in a public place.

This compared to four dogs being destroyed the preceding year.

'The law has changed'

In 2012-13 a total of 13 dangerous dogs were seized of which five dogs were destroyed.

A spokesman for RSPCA Cymru said: "Whilst a rise in the number of dogs seized for aggravated offences is a cause for concern this can also suggest improved enforcement, awareness and reporting.

"It should also be noted that the law has recently changed in that a dog attack on an assistance dog is now also treated as an aggravated offence.

"Crucially, dog owners must be responsible for their dog's behaviour around other people and animals.

"RSPCA Cymru has recently been tasked by the Welsh Government to undertake a review of responsible dog ownership in Wales and will explore these issues in more depth as part of that process."