Tomorrow will be the first day of CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 and Royal Mail have released some jaw-dropping figures and helpful tips to prevent dog attacks on postal workers in the UK. According to Royal Mail over 49 Postal workers in the UK are attacked by dogs each week and some lead to a permanent and disabling injury. In the past year alone 2,500 dog attacks have taken place on postmen and women and Royal Mail say that dog attacks remain unacceptably high despite the joint dog awareness campaigns they are running.
Coronavirus has understandably caused a rise in postal deliveries, this is why we should be taking whatever steps needed to keep the postmen and women approaching our homes safe and out of harm’s way and understand that even friendly dogs might not be appreciated by busy, hard-working postal workers. Royal Mail state that despite the evidence of hefty fines issued for dog attacks, more needs to be done by the Police and courts to clamp down on bad ownership, using the full force of the law to hold these people to account for the devastating, life changing injuries they cause to postmen and women, which continues to be all too familiar.
“As our members deliver more parcels, packets, express, tracked and signed-for deliveries, as a result of booming internet sales, during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown they still face Dog hazards. Parcel traffic has increased 50% and postmen and women continue to collect and deliver thousands of Covid-19 test kits to/from the public and testing labs daily as part of our fantastic contribution to the nation’s safety and wellbeing. We need the public to fully appreciate the essential ‘lifeline’ service postal workers provide and for dog owners to think about the safety of postal workers in return.”
– Dave Joyce, Safety and Environment Officer, CWU National Health
Top tips for dog owners
Here are some ideas to help your postman or woman deliver your post in safety:
- Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in a secure room or the back garden.
- If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman or woman calls.
- Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to collect a parcel. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door.
- Make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
- Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
- Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived before you let your pet back out. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
- If your dog likes to attack your letter box as the mail comes through – fit a wire letterbox cage/receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman or woman’s fingers.
- If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or woman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.
- Please ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date. These are both legal requirements for dog owners and failure to comply can result in a heavy fine.