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Trades 90th birthday bash

From Damien Coxon

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Congratulations to all involved in organising this event. A brilliant day out. The bands were fantastic and the atmosphere electric! What would have been good would to have had an outside bar selling local real ales and may be a food stall? Hog roast would have gone down a treat!

The only downside was that there were a variety of different sized dogs running around not on leads. Let's try and get this situation rectified for the next outdoor event at this wonderful establishment. I would gladly volunteer. Well done good people of the Trades. Here's to another 90 years! Rock on! Or should I say Let's Rock!

From Susan Moore

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Well said Damian but I have to disagree about the dogs running around not on leads. I was at the bash most of the day and didn't witness any evidence of this. My dog quite happily wanders around without a lead and isn't a threat to anyone.

From Kez Armitage

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Two observations here.

First, there was a beer festival within 50 yards of the Trades Club do, at the Town Hall. It had beers from all the local breweries, including Bridestones and Little Valley. It would have been good if a few more people had visited it. There was a facility to take beer and cider back to Holme Street - hardly an imposition given the proximity.

Second, as a recipient of an attack by a dog whose shocked owner said 'Well he's never done that before', I suggest that Susan Moore's comments demonstrate a chilling naivety, and that worries me intensely.

From Sharon Gibson

Thursday, 8 May 2014

We went along with two small kids - we left after 10 mins because it was just stressful managing kids (both scared of dogs due to umpteen dog related incidents) with loads of dogs wandering around. Why can't they be on a lead - is that too oppressive?

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 8 May 2014

This morning I was on my way to the station.

Behind me I heard a load of barking so turned round to see a young man running through the park to get his train (I presume) being chased along the path by a dog not on a lead.

The pathetic response from the owner - some distance from the dog - was an ineffectual 'Come here' repeated as the dog chased the lad down the path.

As I have said before not all dog owners are this lame but I just thought I'd share as the narrative that dogs not on leads cause no problems ever is a strong one locally,

From Colin C

Friday, 9 May 2014

Ideally dog owners would accept that not everyone may be comfortable with having their animals off leads. However in the absence of such common sense, haven't the organisers of events (like the Trades Club) a responsibility to ask the aforesaid owners to show consideration to others and control their animals?

Not too much to ask is it?

BTW, same goes for out of control children, drunk adults, wandering goats, whatever...

From Meg Rumbell

Friday, 9 May 2014

It sounds as though this thread is not so much a celebration of the Trades birthday bash, but a further opportunity to bash dogs - a continuation of the recent thread about Dogs Not On Leads, and the huge dangers thereof.

When I studied philosophy in a previous life, one of the early tutorials I remember concerned False Argument fallacies- which the tutor was fond of telling us we would find all around us in the real world. He was right.

There are some lovely example on this thread eg: "I was once bitten by a dog therefore all dogs are dangerous" and "dog chases man and therefore all dogs chase men" etc, etc

These are example of Hasty Generalizations ie: a broad claims which draws a general conclusion from a single case. Tabloid newspapers are great devotees of this sort of argument - it panders to their readers simplistic mindset. But it's always good copy to demonise dogs

In this case it totally ignores the fact that the vast majority of domestic dogs are friendly and are totally harmless off lead - or on. They would not be domestic pets otherwise.

I was expecting to see someone raise the spectre of the "demented fangs out beast" that has been roaming Calder Holmes park, and has now been terrorising the revellers in Holme Street, but so far he has not featured - much to my disappointment

From Graham Barker

Friday, 9 May 2014

I enjoyed Meg's post but think she may have fallen into a trap of her own making. Even if 'the vast majority of domestic dogs are friendly and are totally harmless off lead', it doesn't follow that letting dogs off leads is always acceptable.

There can be a big difference between off the lead in an open space - where most dogs are indeed harmless - and off the lead in a busy or crowded space, where exuberance or stress can easily get a dog into trouble.

We've got friendly, well-behaved dogs but wouldn't dream of letting them off the lead at a busy public event. It's as much to protect the dogs as to protect anyone else. I think that's the view of any sensible dog owner and it's probably also the view of the law. It's a shame that some dog owners spoil it for others.

From Meg Rumbell

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Good riposte Graham, but I'm afraid you have committed a further two False Argument fallacies.

Firstly I didn't argue that "letting dogs off the lead is always acceptable" - I simply said that "the vast majority are totally harmless off the lead" - which they are. You are guilty of False Implication by then extending my comment to embrace all public situations.

Secondly you are then guilty of a Hasty Generalisation by saying " any sensible dog owner wouldn't let dogs off the lead in a public place" ie generalising your particular predilection to all dog owners.

In fact it's quite acceptable to have dogs off lead in certain public situations - and a street party is certainly one. I well remember the street party we had in my village at the Jubilee Celebrations in June 2013. The main street was closed to traffic, we had bands and performing acts, plenty of food and booze - and dogs off lead.

The dogs wandered around, being petted by kids and parents, soliciting tit bits from the overloaded tables, playing with each other. and the kids and generally adding to the street scene. There were no politically correct "Dogs Must be on a Lead" notices, no doggy mishaps, no one got bit, and no weary-willies complaining afterwards. We had a right old knees up and the dogs certainly contributed to the joyousness of the event.

Cyanophobia - the fear of dogs - is an extremely common specific phobia (together with fear of spiders, mice etc) and I suspect that a lot of the complaints about dogs come from people suffering from this.

From Anne W

Saturday, 10 May 2014

It is true that fallacies are common - they appear throughout Meg's post in the form of misrepresentation creating straw men - i.e. inferring that expression of fairly reasonable concerns following bad experiences are in fact quite bizarre claims about all dogs.

People have said that some are scared of dogs because they have had bad experiences with dogs. Some dogs are a risk and it can sometimes be hard to tell which – and experience might also tell people that some dog owners are not the best judge of how safe or well behaved their dog is. Considerate dog owners take sufficient care to prevent their dogs frightening people. No logical fallacy there. Nothing in that assumes all dogs are dangerous, or that all dog owners are irresponsible.

From Gary W

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Some of the latest data shows that 6,447 people were admitted to hospital for dog bites in 2011-12 - a 5.2% rise on the previous 12 months.

Of those, under-10s accounted for the highest rate of admissions by 10 year age group with 17 per 100,000 population. That is 1,040 admissions, with the annual cost to the NHS of treating injuries about £3 million.

If you look at the historic data, in 1989-90, 991 were admitted*(Guardian Datablog).

That's just hospital admissions. More than 200,000 people a year are estimated to be bitten by dogs in England

Just because you've never been run over when crossing the road, it doesn't mean that crossing the road is always a safe activity.

In your previous post Meg you inferred that if anyone bitten more than once by a dog either they deserved it or they're stupidly provocative.

How about a bit of compassion and empathy to those victims and their subsequent unease around dogs rather than berating them.

From Allen Keep

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Gary are you sure 6k people were admitted to hospital for dog bites? I didn't think we had GB figures for hospital admittance rather than presentation -which are quite different things. My recollection is that dog bites account for around 70% of visits to hospital for animal bites.

From Meg Rumbell

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Yes good post Gary - I like posts which are evidence based and well argued. I am aware of these statistics. As previously commented I worked for many years as a volunteer with the RSPCA.

However, what the statistics don't tell you is the severity of the dog bites and the circumstances. The bulk of the bites are to hand and wrist and hospital admissions are mainly into A&E and are to a large extent precautionary in case of infection. Severe dog bites are not as common as the statistics might lead you to believe, and the culprits are very often the dangerous breeds - pit bulls, rottweillers, german shepherds etc. for which there is no argument - they should not be kept as domestic pets.

However, that is not to feel sympathy for those who are badly bitten for no fault of there own - which I do.

However I was brought up in a household where animal welfare was a religion - and is in my DNA. What did Philip Larkin say :-
"They 'f***' you up your mum & dad,
They may not mean to but they do etc, etc."

And I have to repeat what I said previously - the damage done to dogs by humans far outweighs the reverse. And dog cruelty by humans is not random - it is very often systematic and prolonged. Dogs are not capable of these acts of savagery. Adult humans at least can protect themselves - dogs need protection.

I would refer you to an item in the Halifax Courier this week. A dog had it's front legs chopped off, and was found wandering the countryside on it's raw stumps - bleeding and badly infected. It had been like that for several months the vet estimated. Fortunately a caring couple found it, have adopted it, and it will be fitted with prosthetic legs.

It's the many examples like this that I have witnessed, which, perhaps unfortunately, leave me with little sympathy for people who bang on about Dogs off Lead.

From Andy C

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Another stunning gig at the Trades last night with Handsome Family and Vikesh Kapoor. Loads of great and diverse gigs coming up over the coming weeks. Cool for cats! And the only things on leads are the guitars.

From Gary W

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Yes Allen. Check out the latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). In 2013, dog ''bites and strikes'' caused 6,740 hospital admissions in England - a 6% rise from the previous year. An article in the Sunday Telegraph today also highlights the fact that not only are children under 10 most likely to be hospitalized; the rates of hospital admissions were three times higher for people from poor areas compared to their wealthier neighbours.

Meg, I agree that it's never the dog that is the problem, it's always the human owners whose behavior is the issue. Whether it's terrible neglect/cruelty or inconsideration for other people.

From Meg Rumbell

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Just as a rider to the above statistics on dog bites I'd like to add my further two pennyworth.

Bare statistics, as always, need interpretation - otherwise they can be misleading. News media love to sensationalise the very serious cases, which are extremely rare, and this can create a distorted perception of the problem. Also the circumstances surrounding dog bites are not well recorded, which makes interpretation very difficult

Having said that, lets look at the statistics in context. 6,740 hospital presentations in a population of 8.5 million dogs (RSPCA figures) in the UK i.e. 0.08% of dogs or 1 dog in every 1,250 is responsible for a hospital presentation (not necessarily an admission). This assumes they were all different dogs. Dogs responsible for biting more than once are likely to be destroyed anyway.

Now - the UK human population is approximately 64 million. So per head of population the hospital presentation % is 0.01% - or 1 in 10,000. So if you are that one, you are statistically very unlucky, It means that on average you can be in contact with 10,000 dogs before being bitten sufficiently to warrant a hospital visit - which is likely to be more dogs than the average person would meet in a lifetime. And I suspect this is the average person's experience. I have spent most of my life around dogs and have never been bitten. Growled at and barked at - yes, but not bitten. Someone who gets bitten 4 times is a statistical outlier (I nearly said freak but that might be misinterpreted !)

Certain occupations are more likely victims - postmen, delivery men, milkmen etc because they are intruding on what a dog regards as it's own territory. Tethered dogs are a particular danger because they are likely to be frustrated and vent their pent up aggression on strangers who approach.

According to American data which Allen Keep has highlighted, 80% of dog bite incidents occur in owners own properties, and 75% of the animals concerned knew the victim - and a high % of these were tethered dogs rather than family pets. It's also likely that a proportion of these were dangerous breeds.

These are all glorious averages of course, and there are probably dog bite 'hotspots' and conversely places where incidents are much less - but they do provide some sort of context.

It may be that Hebden Bridge is a hotspot - infested with 'fangs out demented beasts' but somehow I doubt it.

From Felicia J

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

It means that on average you can be in contact with 10,000 dogs before being bitten sufficiently to warrant a hospital visit - which is likely to be more dogs than the average person would meet in a lifetime. And I suspect this is the average person's experience. I have spent most of my life around dogs and have never been bitten. Growled at and barked at - yes, but not bitten. Someone who gets bitten 4 times is a statistical outlier (I nearly said freak but that might be misinterpreted !)

Well Meg, statistics are fine and you are entitled to your suspicions but I have had actual experience..

Personally I have been bitten twice, once when a young girl about 6 years old by a loose dog that came bounding up out of nowhere on a public grassy area (I have the scars still), secondly more recently whilst walking on a public right of way - a bridle path, by a dog on one of those extending leads. The careless owner just let the dog run up to me and bite whilst still on the lead.

That already marks me out as an exceptional case in your book but I know from what friends and family have said that its a fairly average experience.I wont bother using any psychological ploys to back my statement up, because it is just that- a statement of facts.

I've noticed a trend amongst dog owners with unruly animals to transfer the blame for the dogs actions onto the hapless victim ( again personal experience), you seem to be following a similar path in your posts.

From Dave R

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Yes well, harumphhh dogs and all that. But . . . The Trades birthday 'do' was great. We watched a few of the outdoor acts and thoroughly enjoyed them. Dancing children, beer enjoying adults and the odd wandering canine added to the whole ambience.

Thank you to those that organised it and well done.

From Meg Rumbell

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Well Felicia - you do appear to be somewhat unfortunate. Dogs who bite humans without provocation can be reported and put down - I trust this happened in your two cases ?

However if this is the 'average experience' I'm surprised there are any dogs left in Hebden Bridge.

And my congratulations to the Trades organisers too Dave R - it's nice to see such a relaxed attitude to dogs and I hope this continues at the next bash.

From Anne W

Friday, 16 May 2014

Meg are you really saying that dogs that have attacked someone must always be put down? Hopefully other people might take a more forgiving approach to the dogs – I have done that. Maybe sometimes dogs have to be put down, I don't really know - but just because the law makes provision for certain things does not mean that it is enacted as strongly as possible in every case – thank goodness or the world would be an even worse place.

Obviously dog owners should be held accountable, and should take responsibility. Unfortunately some just try to blame anyone or anything but themselves for their failure to control their dogs.


From Kez Armitage

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Heavens! A simple concern about dogs being allowed to run around uncontrolled has become a diatribe of generally meaningless statistics, bizarre efforts to demonstrate a knowledge of elementary philosophy, and an attempt to try and divide and alienate.

It really is not a question about a pro- and anti-dog stance. I love dogs. I own a dog, and most of my friends have dogs. Give me a dog over a cat any day. A dog is loyal, devoted and its friendship with humans is based on total and unconditional love and trust. The world would be poorer without them.

But the fact of the matter is that I was attacked by a dog in Hebden Bridge. And it was a totally unprovoked attack. So what happens next time a dog rushes up to me as I walk through the park? Do I get out my scientific calculator, do a quick statistical calculation, plot a probability and regression curve and realise that the likelihood is that I will be ok? Do my natural instincts for caution diminish simply because I've read on Hebweb that people concerned about unrestrained dogs are guilty of 'false argument fallacies' or 'hasty generalisations'? No I don't think so!

My concern really stems from something that seems to have been conveniently forgotten about in this thread, and those are the simple but telling words "He's never done that before". That was said about the dog that attacked me. His owner trusted him enough to let him run free because she knew he would never harm a human being. He was a trusted family pet - probably great with the kids, kind and a little bit soppy, with not a mean bone in his body. He would never have it in him to do any harm to anyone in any circumstance. Yes, quite!

The point is, you can quote statistics and philosophy until the cows come home, but while there is any doubt, however statistically small the likelihood of an incident, why not play it safe for everyone's sake and keep your dog on a lead when there are people around? I promise you dog won't hold it against you. "Totally unnecessary as far as my dog is concerned!" may be your response, to which my reply would be "He's never done that before".

From Meg Rumbell

Sunday, 18 May 2014

"a diatribe of generally meaningless statistics, bizarre efforts to demonstrate a knowledge of elementary philosophy, and an attempt to try and divide and alienate."

Sounds like a description of Vladimir Putin, or even worse Kim Jong-un.
Another False Argument fallacy here - an example of Argumentum ad Hominum (I'll leave you to look it up)

And here's another Hasty Generalisation - "it happened to me - therefore it could happen to anybody". The statistics show that my chances of being harmed by a dog are 1 in 50,000 so I'm never going to get excited about a very unlikely event. But some people can't, or don't want to, engage with statistics and probabilities - they prefer their own emotional anecdotes.

Yes it could happen to anybody - and I know someone who won't walk under trees because he believes one will fall on him. No use quoting the statistical probabilty of 17 million to 1. He believes the risk is real and nothing will change his mind.

The problem with worrying about every little risk that might befall you - it is disabling. It stops you from enjoying life. If I believe that every dog I meet might bite me - and there are 8.4million out there to worry about - I might as wlll stay at home.

I walked my dog on the Calderdale Way this morning - off lead as usual. Being a lovely day we passed several groups of walkers. I jokingly called out to each group "watch out for my savage dog he's not had his breakfast yet" just to see their reactions as as he ambled up to them, tail wagging. There was laughter from each group as they patted his head before going on their way.

That is the reality of 99.9% of encounters with dogs. Enjoy them and forget the dreary phobics who would try to convince you otherwise

From Anne H

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Well said Kez. If a man went home from the Trades party drunk and beat up his wife (for the first time) would you say 'he's never done that before' or 'he must have been provoked'. Truth is neither of those things is relevant. He still did it and is statistically more likely to do it again than the man next door.

In that case, the man lost his self control. In the case of a dog he has very little self control. It just appears that way because he is controlled by the invisible bond with his owner, leader of the pack. Basic instinct can over-ride the will to please his owner if the provocation is great enough, especially if the owner is out of sight, out of range or out of it (i.e. not in control of him or herself!). The instinct might even be commendable - to defend its pack or its territory - but the consequences can be terrible because at that point he is out of control.

From Jon B

Sunday, 18 May 2014

I think this thread was meant to say "thanks" to the Trades for all their years of hard work and efforts bringing live music to the people of Hebden Bridge.

Can you all quit whining now please?

Or start a new thread about your dog issues?

Well done Trades, let's hope you continue for at least another 90 years.

Yes, Jon, I think this is a good point to close this thread. Feel free to start fresh ones - Ed