Royal Mail Appeals For Dog Owners To Think Outside The ‘Gate’
Royal Mail is today launching its fourth annual Dog Awareness Week, which runs from 4 to 9 July 2016. The week aims to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks on postmen and women and encourage responsible dog ownership.
Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week is supported by the Communications Workers Union and a wide range of organisations and animal charities including Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Dogs Trust, the National Police Chief’s Council and the National Dog Wardens Association
The number of dog attacks on postmen and women has fallen by 10% on the previous year to 2,660. Despite this reduction, as many as seven postmen and women a day are attacked across the UK. This figure rises by 10% during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home.
New research¹ released today as part of Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week found that over a quarter (27%) of UK parents who own a dog confessed that their canine has been loose in the house when an exterior door (such as the front door) was open. In the last year, 36% of dog attacks on postal workers have happened at the front door while 35% took place in the front garden– the equivalent to 1,888 attacks. At these times, dogs are more likely to be unsupervised in the garden.
CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce who has led on the union's Bite-Back Dangerous Dogs campaign
A wide range of activities will be taking place during Dog Awareness Week including;
TV presenter and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Ambassador, Paul O’Grady is backing the campaign. He said:
“Dogs can be quite protective of their owners and homes. They believe they are merely defending their property, but it’s important to recognise that this behaviour can sometimes escalate to dog bite incidents with anyone coming to your home, including postmen.
Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail Group Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability said:
“As a dog owner myself, I know that the overwhelming majority of dogs are friendly most of the time. But even the most placid animal will defend itself if it feels its territory is being threatened.
Our postmen and women deliver to over 29 million addresses across the country. We ask them to exercise caution and respect for all family members, including pets when delivering the mail. This summer, we are also appealing to dog owners and their families to help reduce the numbers of attacks, particularly at the door and in the garden.”
Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard, National Policing Lead for Dangerous Dogs confirmed his support by saying:
“In the Autumn of 2015, the Postal Workers SLA was piloted in 5 of the biggest Police forces in England; the Metropolitan, Merseyside, South and West Yorkshire and West Midlands, to try to understand the demand and any areas of improvement. The SLA has been a positive step forward in dealing with dog attacks and we are continuing to encourage Police forces nationally to utilise the tools available to them to tackle irresponsible dog ownership; by educating where possible and prosecuting where appropriate.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been a supporter of the campaign for the last three years. Their Chief Executive Claire Horton said:
Working together, Royal Mail, the Communication Workers Union and the National Police Chiefs’ Council will be considering the rollout of the SLA nationally in England and Wales, to ensure such incidents are dealt with consistently.“
To help promote dog safety, a special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday 4 July 2016 to Friday 8 July 2016.
Top Tips for Dog Owners
Even the most lovable dog can be a danger to postal staff. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable.
Here are some ideas to help your postman deliver your post in safety:
Source: Dave Joyce / CWU / Royal Mail / Wikipedia / Battersea Dogs & Cats Home / N Wales Police