The number of dogs destroyed by Hampshire police has risen by 35% in the past three years, new data has shown.

In 2023 alone, 18 dogs have been destroyed as a result of bite attacks – an increase of almost two-fifths since 2020.

Other causes of dogs being destroyed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary related to them acting aggressively or their breed type.

READ MORE: XL bully owner says that ban will lead to thousands of dogs killed

Ultimately, the most common reason that dogs have been destroyed in the past three years was because of bite attacks.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request from revealed that 85% of incidents were related to dog bites.

Daily Echo: The vast majority of dogs destroyed in Hampshire were because of bitesThe vast majority of dogs destroyed in Hampshire were because of bites (Image: Getty Images)

Most commonly destroyed dog breeds in Hampshire

The most commonly destroyed dog breeds in Hampshire and Isle of Wight since 2020 were:

  • Cane Corso - 12.5%
  • Mixed breed - 12.5%
  • Staffordshire bull terrier - 10%
  • Pitbull - 10%
  • American bulldog - 8%

NHS data suggests that there were a provisional 9,366 dog bites recorded in 2022/23 in the UK as a whole, as reported by VetHelpDirect.

This was an increase on the 8,819 recorded the previous year.

There has been an 88% increase in recorded bites, from 4,699 in 2007 to 8,819 in 2021-22.

Additionally, 2022 saw a rise in the number of people in England and Wales dying because of dog bite injuries.

While a typical year records around three fatal attacks, there were 10 in 2022.

This comes after a recent Government announcement that XL Bully dogs will be added to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dog Act.

New rules due to come into force on December 31 will make it illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, rehome, abandon or allow XL bully dogs to stray in England and Wales.

From New Year’s Eve, owners will also be required to muzzle the dogs under a law change laid in Parliament.

It will also be illegal to own an XL bully from February 1 2024 unless the animal is on an exempt list, called the Index of Exempted Dogs.

The two dates have been staggered to allow owners to prepare for the new rules.

Andy Smith, 39, from Hythe owns three XL bullies and has been opposed to the ban since it was proposed.

He says owners are to blame for poorly behaved dogs and attacks, rather than the breed.

Andy previously told the Echo: “XL bullies are currently being sold for less than £80 online as people scramble to get rid of them before the ban comes into place.

“We need a total redesign of the dog-owning system in the UK. There is nobody policing dog owners."