A Northland man needed 14 stitches after he was knocked off his bike and bitten repeatedly by a dog on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

The attack occurred about 11am on Thursday as the man, in his early 40s, was riding his bike about 1km from the start of the trail at Ōpua.

The rider was knocked to the ground and bitten three times between the calf and ankle before passers-by managed to stop the attack.

The Advocate understands the pitbull-type dog, which was not on a leash, belonged to a couple walking the trail. They also had a shih tzu which was not involved in the attack.

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 The attack has been reported to the Far North District Council animal control. Photo / Greg Bowker
The attack has been reported to the Far North District Council animal control. Photo / Greg Bowker

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The man's rescuers obtained contact details for the dog's owners and their vehicle registration.

He was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa where he received 14 stitches and a tetanus shot. A chunk of flesh was bitten off in the attack. St John Ambulance and police responded.

The attack has also been reported to Far North District Council animal control, which is investigating.

Environmental services manager Rochelle Deane urged anyone who had witnessed the attack or had seen a dog or dogs off-leash on the trail around 11am on Thursday to contact the council on 0800 920 029.

Under the Pou Herenga Tai-Twin Coast Cycle Trail Bylaw 2016 it was an offence for dogs to be off-leash on the cycle trail. That was clearly signposted, she said.

Breaking the bylaw can attract a fine of up to $20,000.

The Twin Coast Cycle Trail stretches 86km from Ōpua to Horeke in South Hokianga.

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