2023-08-25 10:28

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CWU Health & Safety Dept Leads Major Publicity Of Dog Awareness Week

The basic facts about dangerous dogs and the lack of responsible ownership in the UK are shocking as is the results for attacks on members of the public and CWU members going about their everyday work providing services ices to the public.

Royal Mail Post women and men, BT Engineers and members working for other employers who work in the public domain are all at risk every day they go to work.

The Union's Health & Safety Dept has a very high profile amongst the TUC affiliated Trade Unions and many other organisations, including the HSE, as a result of the work done by the department head on the issue of Dangerous Dogs.

His embarkation on a major publicity campaign later this month once again will put the spotlight on the CWU for it's campaign to strengthen Dog Safety laws and regulations, not to mention the work done by the Union with our members employers to implement and promote procedures to help protect them from savage and dangerous dog attacks as they go about their public service.

On 25th June – Dave Joyce will be giving Radio and TV interviews on Dog Awareness Week.

On 26th June – Dave Joyce will meet with the Scottish Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, to discuss dog attacks on postal workers following the recent debate in the Scottish Parliament on 8th May to discuss the post legislative review of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 plus Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal and Police enforcement and law interpretation issues. 

On 27th June – Dave Joyce will be at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, to give oral evidence to a The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Parliamentary Select Committee’s Inquiry into Dangerous Dogs Legislation. (The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 as amended by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014) after the NHS reported that the number of dog attacks has risen, with yearly hospital admissions for dog bites increasing by 76% between 2006-2016.

(This will be televised at 9:30am on the Parliament TV Channel and covered by this website)

CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said, ahead of this Year's Dangerous Dogs Week held later this month:

"The failure of Dog Owners to control their animals remains a major concern for Postal Workers and the public.
The number of attacks has risen, with yearly hospital admissions for dog bites increasing by 76% between 2006-2016.

Seven postal workers are attacked by dogs every working day of the year which is unacceptable and the whole
idea of Dog Awareness Week is to highlight the problem and the repercussions for dog owners and the
victims, many of whom are seriously injured”.

He said that: " 82% of dog attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the front garden and that number is increasing as we deliver more online purchased parcels."

Something has to be done and the public has their own responsibility to ensure that no one is endangered by their pet dogs.

The head of the CWU's Health and safety department made this clear by saying:

"We are appealing to all customers who are dog owners to work with us and think TWICE when the postman calls. Put the dog away in secure room before opening the door to collect and sign for your delivery."

He continued:

" The vast majority of our customers and their dogs aren't a problem but irresponsible and reckless dog owners are.

Customers are always pleased to see the postman or postwoman arrive as they’re eager to take delivery of the goods they’ve ordered and paid for on the internet but thousands of them unfortunately don’t give a second thought to the postal worker’s safety by putting the dog in a safe, secure place."

He had this warning for those ignoring their responsibilities:

" There are tough court penalties and a criminal record for irresponsible dog owners including prison and unlimited fines so it’s in their best interest in more ways than one to make sure the dog doesn’t bite the postman/woman."

Giving examples Dave said:

"One owner from Romford, Essex paid fines and costs of nearly £9,000 after his dog injured a postwoman’s fingers as she put letters through the door.

Another owner from Oxford was handed a 16-month suspended prison sentence and banned from owning dogs for life after his dog badly injured a postman’s hand."

Dave Joyce concluded by saying:

"Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned. No matter what breed of dog is involved, the dog can present a substantial danger to postal workers.

Worryingly there’s been some very serious Dog attacks this last year in Boston, Newquay and Wrexham which could easily have ended in fatalities if it wasn’t for the intervention of the owners and good Samaritans”.

Basic Facts about Dangerous Dogs:

  1. 3,000 Postmen and Women were attacked by Dogs in the UK last year, that’s 44 a week or 7 a day.

  2. Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union say that the number of attacks is still too high and every dog attack is one attack too many.

  3. To raise awareness and encourage responsible dog ownership the Union and Royal Mail will jointly launch their sixth annual Dog Awareness Week on Monday 20 June.

  4. The number of dog attacks on postmen and women increases during summer holidays, when children and parents are at home and dogs are more likely to be out in the garden with the family.

  5. 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, PDSA and the National Dog Wardens Association.

  6. A special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday 25 Juneuntil June 29.

The 2018 edition of the CWU Dangerous Dogs catalogue of injuries to both adults and children can be downloaded from our E-Libary Database along with other resources concerning dangerous dogs. Simply use the 'keyword' Dogs into the E-Libray Database search page here

Due to the department having the smallest of all CWU HQ Depts budgets (£19,000) hard copies of the catalogue of evidence compiled by Dave Joyce are not available.

Source: CWU / Unionsafety


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