Royal Mail appeal to customers in Harrogate during dog awareness week

  • Beware of the dogRoyal Mail is appealing to dog owners in Harrogate during Dog Awareness Week to work with us to help keep animals under control when the postman calls
  • The aim of Dog Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks on our postmen and women
  • Over 7 postmen and women were attacked across the HG postcode area by dogs from April 2012 to April 2013 and we are committed to working with customers to drive this number down
  • Royal Mail is working alongside the CWU. The campaign is supported by a wide range of organisations and animal charities including Dogs Trust, DEFRA, Blue Cross, Wood Green, and the Association of Dog Wardens
  • Since April 2011, there have been over 5,500 attacks on Royal Mail postmen and women across the UK, some leading to a permanent disabling injury. Attacks have resulted in the loss of 4,100 working days due to injuries
  • The number of attacks usually peaks during the school holidays

Royal Mail is appealing to dog owners in Harrogate during Dog Awareness Week to work with us to help keep animals under control when the postman calls. Over 7 postmen and women were attacked across the HG postcode area by dogs from April 2012 to April 2013 and we are committed working with customers to drive this number down.

We are working alongside the Communication Workers Union (CWU) with support from a wide range of organisations and animal charities including Dogs Trust, DEFRA, Blue Cross, Wood Green, the animal charity and the Association of Dog Wardens during Dog Awareness Week.



Dog attacks are a significant hazard, faced by postmen and women on a daily basis. The number of attacks rises during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home and dogs are sometimes allowed unsupervised in the garden or out onto the streets without restraints.

Since April 2011, there have been over 5,500 attacks on Royal Mail postmen and women across the UK, some leading to a permanent disabling injury. Attacks have resulted in the loss of 4,100 working days due to injuries. 

While the number of attacks has fallen by 24 per cent nationally since 2011, it still remains unacceptably high and we are committed to driving this down further. Every dog attack on one of our postmen or women is one dog attack too many.

A range of activities will be taking place during Dog Awareness Week including:

  • Lord De Mauley, Parlimentary Under Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will become postman for the day when he goes out on a delivery round with a postman in London who has previously been a victim of a dog attack.
  • Royal Mail postmen and women speak about their own experiences of dog attacks
  • Dog Awareness posters in partnership with Dogs Trust, will be in place in all Royal Mail enquiry office’s giving dog owners tips on how they can help
  • Dogs Trust and Wood Green will be holding question and answer sessions on their Facebook pages with their behaviourists

 

Steve Greaves, Director of Safety for Royal Mail, North said:

For the first time, we are holding a Dog Awareness Week working with the CWU, animal charities and organisations to raise awareness of the problems our postmen and women face daily when they are delivering the mail and are appealing to dog owners in Harrogate to work with us to help keep animals under control when the postman calls.

We have held a number of one day campaigns and the awareness of the issue of dog attacks is growing. Last year across the country the number of dog attacks on our people fell. However there were still over 7 incidents in Harrogate and across the HG postcode area and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one dog attack too many.

Clearly most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened. Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.



 

Dave Joyce, CWU health, safety and environment officer said:

Dog Awareness Week is an important initiative to raise the profile of dog attacks and the risk that family pets and security dogs can pose to postal workers carrying out their everyday duties.

CWU has been campaigning on this issue since 2007, and last year we were pleased to join forces with Royal Mail in an awareness exercise. This year is set to be bigger and better – hopefully getting the message out to all dog owners that they need to take steps to ensure their pets do not pose a threat to postal workers. The law is now being changed in England and Wales to encourage more responsible dog ownership, but you can’t beat good publicity to help people change their habits.

Royal Mail staff really are at the sharp end of dog attacks, with thousands suffering injuries each year which range from minor scratches to lost fingers, severe scarring and psychological issues. There is a lot that dog owners can do to prevent an attack taking place – simply keeping your dog out of reach of the letterbox or front door is a great way of preventing any unintended injuries.

It’s especially important during the school holidays when children may let dogs out. Your pet will react very differently to your postman or woman than to your own family and behaviour can be unpredictable – we’ve seen it all too often. Please think and act to prevent the opportunity of an attack.


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