Royal Mail bites back over dog attacks

2012-11-23 16:01

London - Britain's state-run postal service Royal Mail will take legal action against the owners of dogs that attack its staff and will consider suspending deliveries to their homes, it announced on Friday.

The Royal Mail said its postmen and women had suffered more than 3 000 attacks in the year to April, while the Communication Workers Union, which represents 134 000 postal workers, said the figure was closer to 5 000.

"Dog attacks cause injuries and terrible trauma to our staff," said Royal Mail chairperson Donald Brydon. "Nobody should have to endure this and our staff are at an increased risk of such attacks simply because of the job they do."

Brydon said the postal service would "take a more robust approach with customers whose dogs attack postmen and women", including looking at suspending deliveries to their homes.

"We will adjust our policies immediately," he added.

New laws

The tough new stance follows an independent inquiry calling for owners of dangerous dogs to face greater sanctions.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have introduced new laws and similar legislation is planned in Wales - but in England, legal action cannot be taken at present if a postman is bitten on private property while approaching a home.

"This means that for postmen and women - who each have to visit hundreds of private addresses on their delivery rounds every day - the legal protection against attacks by dogs is limited," Royal Mail said.

It welcomed the report's call for urgent reforms to the legislation on dangerous dogs in England and Wales.

  • jairaj.sureschandra - 2012-11-23 16:54

    Good luck trying to establish who the owner of the animal is. In South Africa, animal nuisance is aggravated by the fact that animal ownership is not regulated. Therefore, we cannot locate the irresponsible owners of animals who allow their animals to roam in a public place without adult supervision. As a result many of our animals are killed roaming the public roads. Another form of animal abuse.

  • BobM6389 - 2012-11-23 17:23

    Issue all postmen and women with an electric cattle prodder. That should work. Its worth a try. Maybe they should be used on the dog owners as well.

      TylerReeveHunter - 2012-11-24 10:22

      Thats a disturbing comment. Thats animal cruelty and shouldn't be tolerated.

      BobM6389 - 2012-11-24 10:45

      Tyler for your infromation I am an animal lover but believe that all dogs should be correctly trained and under control.

      TylerReeveHunter - 2012-11-24 16:40

      so they must be trained with high voltage electricity causing nervous disorders, yah that makes sense.

      LanfearM - 2013-02-13 09:45

      You can a train a dog with patience and love and a firm word. You don't need cattle prods and whips.

      Quinton Huang - 2015-05-12 09:48

      @ Tyler. Have you ever been savagely bitten by a dog. I have and it was unprovoked. So a cattle prod is not animal crulty when it comes to self defence.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-11-23 21:23

    Did not think the UK anti-dog laws could get any worse. Family pets are being seized under BSL and many dogs are being killed because they look like Pitbulls and Staffordshire terriers. Read about Lennox and DDA Watch. Owners should make sure there dogs do not bite and on the other hand being chased by a Yorkie or Jack Russell is not going to cause any emotional trauma.

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