Posties' warning over 'unacceptable' dog attacks

Seven Royal Mail workers injured by uncontrolled pets every day

beware of the dog
(Image credit: Flickr)

Britain's posties are biting back over the "unacceptable" number of unfriendly dogs attacking them on their daily rounds.

Royal Mail is launching its fifth annual Dog Awareness Week, reminding owners to keep their pets under control or face prosecution after figures revealed an average of seven postmen and women are attacked each day.

Although that figure represents a slight drop of seven per cent from last year, the overall trend is still "disturbingly high", says Metro.

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The panicked postie fleeing down the garden path with a snarling mutt snapping at his heels may be an old comedy trope, but in real life, such incidents are no joke.

Dr Shaun Davis, health and safety chief at Royal Mail, said the figures were "unacceptable " and warned that several of the 14,500 attacks reported over the last five years had led to "extremely serious and life-changing injuries".

Urging dog owners to keep their pets under control, he added: "Our postmen and women need to be able to deliver the service they provide to communities across the UK, without the risk of injury."

An amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 introduced in May 2014 expanded the legislation to cover private property as well as public spaces, giving postal workers in England and Wales more protection if they are attacked in a garden or on a doorstep while making a delivery.

Owners found to have allowed their dog to become dangerously out of control on private property now face a hefty fine or up to five years in prison if someone is injured as a result. A fatal mauling could result in a 14-year prison sentence.

Seventy per cent of incidents occurred in homeowners' gardens or on the doorstep, Dave Joyce, safety officer of the Communication Workers Union, and many could be easily prevented.

"It just needs owners to restrict their animals access to the front garden or to put their dog in another room before opening the door to collect a parcel or sign for an item," he said.

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