RM/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2019 Monday 8 July to Saturday 13 July 2019:
To raise awareness and encourage responsible dog ownership, the Union and Royal Mail will jointly launch their sixth annual Dog Awareness Week on Monday 8th July 2019.
The number of dog attacks is still too high and every dog attack is one attack too many. The official number of dog attacks in the UK on postmen and women last year is 2,484, but unreported minor attacks take that up to 3,000 in our estimation. 2,484 represents a 9% increase on Royal Mail’s 2017/18 figures.
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.
Royal Mail Dog Awareness Week is supported by the Communications Workers Union and a wide range of organisations and animal charities including PDSA, the National Police Chief’s Council, and the National Dog Wardens Association.
A special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday 8th July to Friday 12th July.
3,000 Postmen and Women were attacked by Dogs in the UK last year, that’s 47 a week or 7 a day.
ASRs, Regional Health and Safety Forums, Branches and Regions are asked to fully support the week and work locally with Royal Mail and supporting organisations on the campaign.
The Following Press Statement Has Been Issued by Dave Joyce CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer:
CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce said “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 80% over the last decade. 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.
83% 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. 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 a secure room before opening the door to collect and sign for your delivery.
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.
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. One owner from Romford, Essex paid fines and costs of £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.
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 continues to be a number of very serious Dog attacks on Postal Workers in both Royal Mail delivery and Parcelforce delivery this last year, some of which could easily have ended in fatalities if it wasn’t for the intervention of the owners and good Samaritans”.
I am calling upon all CWU Representatives to fully support and get involved with 2019 Dog Awareness Week.
Further LTBs, Dog Awareness Week materials and information will be issued in due course.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer