A reporter working for a Scottish daily has spoken of his shock after being attacked by two dogs at an illegal travellers camp.
Craig McManamon, who works for the Dundee-based Courier, went with photographer Kris Miller to land off South Road in Dundee to speak to a group of travellers who had been served with a notice to leave.
But before any of them emerged from their caravans, two dogs sprang out and sank their teeth into his trouser leg, only stopping their attack when Craig and Kris retreated 20 metres back.
Craig’s trousers were torn in the incident but luckily he found that the animals had not punctured his skin.
He told HTFP that the dogs had appeared after he had knocked on the door of one of the caravans and had snapped at him, biting at his legs while he rapidly retreated.
Craig said: “There were a couple of times that I felt their teeth against my skin. My initial concern was whether they had broken through the skin because then I would have to think about jabs and that kind of thing.
“My trousers had two big holes in them so they bore the brunt of it. It was over quite quickly. I just felt shock and then relief it wasn’t any worse.”
Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild has criticised the attack on Craig, saying the travellers should keep their dogs under control.
He said: “This is quite disgraceful. The travellers here are obviously showing no social responsibility and seem to think they are above and beyond the law, but no one is above the law.
”I’m very sorry to hear of this attack which would seem to be a case of failure to keep dogs under control. What it if was a child or an older person walking along the public embankment and suddenly finding themselves in an illegal camp of travelling people with dogs roaming around?
”I will be speaking to our MSPs about the situation to see if the process for dealing with illegal encampments can be speeded up.”
There have been other attacks by dogs at the parkland since the travellers arrived, with around 10 incidents reported to have taken place.
The travellers set up their illegal camp on the land on July 27 and the city council served them with a 24-hour notice to quit four days later.
When that call was ignored, they went to court to ask for a sheriff to issue a formal legal order demanding that they leave immediately but the case will not go to a sheriff until 20 August.