2023-07-01 16:40

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CWU Announces Dog Awareness Week 3 – 9 July 2023

The CWU in p0artnership with Royal Mail Group each year plays an important part of making the public aware of the dangers that uncontrolled dogs are to postal workers and the general public.

Introducing this year's week of the annual Dog Safety campaign, Dave Joyce said in a press release to TV, Radio and print media as well as social media:

image: Dave JoyceDave Joyce CWU National Health and Safety Officer and CWU ‘Bite-Back’ Campaign Leader:

Launching the 2023 Royal Mail/Communication Workers Union National Dog Awareness Week (3 – 9 July),  CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce has called upon UK dog owners “to be more responsible and keep their animals under control when Postal Workers make deliveries.”

And Dave has called on the government to:

“toughen up the Dangerous Dogs Laws and the Police to toughen up enforcement to deal with irresponsible owners.”

Dave Joyce said “Dog Attacks remain a Major Safety Hazard and concern for Postmen and Women across the UK and the scale of the problem shouldn’t be underestimated – Over 30,000 Postmen and Women have been attacked by dogs in last decade! Over 80% at the front door. 36 postal workers are attacked by dogs every week, 2000 to 3000 every year and 1000 Postmen and Women have had a finger bitten off or severely injured delivering the mail through the letterbox in the last 5 years.”

“We are again calling on customers who are dog owners to work with us and help stop this by putting their animals in a safe place before opening the door to the Postman or Postwoman and fit a letterbox cage or outside mail box if their dog attacks the mail when it arrives through the front door.”  

Dave added

”I remain very concerned about the continuing UK dog attack epidemic and national crisis we face. The number of people admitted to hospital for dog bites has tripled in the last 20 years and apart from the personal costs, pain, suffering, disablement and loss of life, it costs the NHS around £75 million a year. NHS data shows that more than 10,000 people a year need in-patient hospital treatment after a dog attack many more attend A&E. Many of those victims are postal workers.”

image: UK  Dog Attacks Deaths stats - click to download“There have been over 60 recorded dog attack deaths in the UK since 2000 and 20 have already been mauled to death by dogs in the last three years. This is a big concern for Postal Workers who are in the front line – delivering to the nation’s 31,000,000 addresses every day.”

“The unacceptably high prevalence, scale and volume of dog attacks plus the impact on victims, which can be life changing, is nothing less than a ‘national crisis.’”

“I have called on the UK government and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to discuss what more can be done to toughen up the Dog Control Laws and improve Police enforcement and Court Penalties – such is my concern.”

“The Key Objectives of Dog Awareness Week are primarily to remind the Public to be aware of their legal and moral responsibilities to control their dogs and prevent dog attacks on victim Postal Workers who are providing them with a great public service.”

“The Public need to be aware that if their dog attacks a postal worker, they will be prosecuted either by the Police, Local Authority or by Royal Mail via a private prosecution.”

A second message to our Postmen and Women is “Be vigilant, keep safe, take no risks, don’t enter properties where dogs are running lose, don’t put fingers through the letterbox, don’t assume a dog won’t bite as any dog can be aggressive, don’t accept an owners word that their dog will not bite either and finally report all dog attack incidents and near misses.”

The CWU, Royal Mail, Parcelforce and the National Police Chiefs Council will also be launching their new joint “Responsible Dog Ownership – How To Keep You, Your Dog and Visitors Safe” Dog Control Awareness” Guide/Leaflet. (Copy Attached).

image: Dog Awareness Poster - click to downloadShocking Statistics:

Dog attacks remain a major safety hazard and concern for postmen and women across the UK as it does for the public. 

The scale of the problem shouldn’t be underestimated:

  • 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years.
  • 6 dog attacks on postal workers across the UK every day.
  • 37 dog attacks on postal workers every week.
  • 1,900 reported dog attacks on postal workers in 2022/23
  • 450 dog bites through letterboxes every year
  • 1000 postmen and women have had a finger of part fingers bitten off through the letterbox in the last 5 years.
  • 80% of dog attacks take place at the front door or on the garden footpath or drive.
  • Animal welfare experts have warned of an epidemic of dog attacks as the number of adults admitted to hospital for dog bites has tripled in the last 20 years and costs the NHS £75 million a year.
  • NHS data shows that more than 10,000 people a year need hospital treatment after a dog attack.
  • Alder Hay Hospital in Liverpool reported that the number of children admitted for dog attack injuries had surged by over 70%.
  • The RSPCA are concerned that the number of dogs in the UK has surged by 4 million over the last three years.
  • There have been 66 recorded dog attack deaths in the UK from 1981 to June 2023. (Updated).

Source: CWU Health, Safety and Environment Dept. / RMG

See also:

CWU Supports Dog Awareness Week 3 – 9 July 2023

Posting Peg Bitten By Dangerous Dog Highlights Dangers To Postal Delivery Workers


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