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Armed police rush to cemetery after woman mauled by dog

A woman has been taken to hospital for treatment after being attacked by a dog at a cemetery in Greater Manchester.

Emergency services were called to Hurst Cemetery, Prospect Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, at around 1.25pm on Sunday following reports that a woman was bitten on her leg.

Armed police were sent to the scene but the canine was secured and officers did not need to discharge their weapons, Greater Manchester Police said.

It was not immediately clear what type of dog was involved in the incident. No arrests were made.

In December last year, The Independent revealed that fatal dog attacks have soared to record highs.

At that point 16 deaths by dog bites had been recorded in 2023/24 - more than double the six fatalities in 2022. Between 1991 and 2021, the number never went above five, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Armed police were dispatched to Hurst Cemetry but the canine was subsequently secured and officers did not need to discharge their weapons (Google)
Armed police were dispatched to Hurst Cemetry but the canine was subsequently secured and officers did not need to discharge their weapons (Google)

The increase has been blamed on a rise in dog ownership sparked by Covid – 11 million in 2023 compared to 9.6 million in 2021, according to charity PDSA – with puppies bred and smuggled from abroad with little care for their welfare.

XL Bully dogs, which have been banned by the government, have been linked to a number of attacks and deaths.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: “Officers attended and the dog was subsequently secured. The female was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening or changing injuries.”

It was one of two incidents to take place at a cemetery in Greater Manchester on Sunday.

Police were also called to Southern Cemetry in Chorlton, south Manchester, following a report of assault.

A 16-year-old girl was taken to hospital with serious injuries although her condition was not life-threatening.

Police said enquiries were ongoing.