CWU says government must end dog law delays after attack on Swindon toddler
7th June 2012
For immediate release
CWU says government must end dog law delays after attack
on Swindon toddler
Whilst thousands celebrated the Jubilee bank-holiday weekend,
the sad news arrived of yet another toddler being savagely mauled
by a dangerously out of control dog in a Swindon garden due to
irresponsible dog ownership.
The Communication Workers Union - whose members in post and
telecoms suffer 6,000 dog attacks every year - responds with a
warning that dog laws must be changed to prevent further attacks.
The union's reps are checking and updating delivery logs in the
area to ensure postal workers are not put at risk.
CWU health and safety officer Dave Joyce said:
"Yet again we hear the tragic news of another child victim of
a dangerous dog attack caused by an irresponsible owner. This again
sends a clear message to government that unless legislation and
enforcement is toughened up, our streets, gardens and public parks
are not safe from the menace of dangerous dogs and there will be
more attacks like this one. I said the same in January when a
little six-year old girl was attacked in a Chingford park and had
an ear ripped off but all we've had from the government is yet
another consultation. It's time for action to be taken."
Two postmen were nearly killed in dog attacks in Sheffield and
Cambridge in recent years and 6,000 postal workers are attacked
every year whilst delivering the country's daily post. Last
month, a Bristol postwoman nearly had her forearm torn off in an
attack in the Kingswood area and dozens of postal workers lose
fingers and suffer debilitating injuries from dog attacks.
Dave Joyce added: "We've been campaigning and lobbying
for changes to the current law because it just doesn't go far
enough to tackle the issue. The public agree that the current law
does not provide adequate protection. Our campaign has gained the
support of both the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland
governments who changed the law in 2011. We want the Westminster
government to stop shilly-shallying and act now."
The CWU Bite-Back campaign calls for:
- Increased Police and Dog Warden powers,
- Compulsory microchipping
- Dog Control Notices introduced
- Better enforcement and stiffer court penalties
- Extend the Law to cover attacks on private land where 70% of attacks on postal workers occur but irresponsible owners are immune from prosecution.
Dave concluded: "The government needs to focus attention on
tackling this problem now because we've had too many delays.
David Cameron keeps talking about the 'Monster of Health and
Safety' when he ought to start talking about the 'Monster
Dangerous Dogs' blighting our society with no effective safety
for workers, children and the public."
The CWU campaign has widespread support from animal charities
including the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and
Cats Home, Kennel Club as well as the Police Federation,
Association of Chief Police Officers, Royal College of Nursing, the
Vets national bodies, Dog Warden Association and major employers
like Royal Mail and BT.
For more information and case studies please visit: www.cwu.org/dangerous-dogs-bite-back.html
For more information please contact:
Sian Jones, Press Officer, tel: 020 8971 7267, mobile: 0779
3314249, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Slocombe, Head of Communications, mobile: 07714504413,
Notes to editors
In a personal April 2010 letter to Mr Joyce, Prime Minister
David Cameron gave the CWU an assurance he supported their campaign
for tougher Dangerous Dogs Laws but has so far failed to bring in
the changes promised at the General Election.
The Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Government have
both changed the law to crack down on irresponsible dog owners.
Defra undertook a public consultation two years ago on proposals to change the dangerous dogs laws. After two years and a much awaited announcement Defra announced another consultation which the CWU sees as more unnecessary delays. 11,500 people recently signed a CWU petition.