**New Video**: New dog laws welcome

New dogs laws being announced on Wednesday 6th February will help protect postal workers from dangerous dogs, hopes the Communication Workers Union.

CWU expects the government to confirm an extension of the law to private property meaning people, such as the 5,000 postal workers and 400 telecom engineers attacked by dogs each year, will finally have protection under the law. Compulsory microchipping will also help improve responsible dog ownership and help identify owners of dogs which attack people and animals.

Billy Hayes 2010
CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: "CWU warmly welcomes today's announcement on responsible dog ownership. Extending the law to private property will bring protection to hundreds of thousands of people who work on private land - such as postal workers and telecom engineers - who were previously left with little recourse in law if they suffered a dog attack.

"Compulsory microchipping will help to link dogs with their owners, assisting dog attack victims in identifying owners as well as helping to reunite responsible owners with their pets. We want to see these new provisions brought in as soon as possible so that people start to benefit from the law changes and help to prevent future attacks."

poster thumbnail
A Bite Back campaign poster illustrating some of the injuries sustained by our members as a result of dangerous dogs.
CWU believes the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has failed to deal with problems of irresponsible dog ownership and failed to protect the victims of dog attacks. The union has been campaigning for a change in the law since 2008 and has been successful in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with Wales currently legislating. Find out more about our political progress.

CWU estimates that 5,000 postal workers and around 400 telecom engineers are attacked by dogs each year.

70% of dog attacks on postal workers occur on private property, in gardens, drives, paths and private roads - where the law in England and Wales does not apply. It's not only CWU members who are affected - gas, water and electricity workers, district nurses, home helps, health visitors, care workers and even meals on wheels volunteers are all left unprotected by the law because of this weakness in legislation.

Postal workers have suffered serious injuries from dog attacks in the course of delivering the mail. Common in juries include fingers being bitten off through letterboxes, deep wounds, scratches, gashes and bruising from dogs jumping up and biting postmen and women on their arms, hands, faces and legs.

Dave Joyce
CWU health, safety and environment officer Dave Joyce has led the CWU's Bite Back campaign and welcomed the announcement saying: "It's been a long time coming but this announcement is great news for anyone who is attacked on private property. Our members working as delivery postmen and women and telecom engineers who routinely go on private property in the line of work will finally have protection in law if they suffer a dog attack. It will make a huge difference.

"We want to see police and local authorities having enough resources to act upon this law change to ensure that victims receive justice and irresponsible owners are held accountable for the actions of their dogs. Microchipping will play an important part in that process and we welcome both elements of the announcement.

"We've been campaigning since 2008 for a law change and it's good to finally win a positive change which will benefit so many."

 Bite back button
Find out more about the CWU's Bite Back campaign, the background and objectives as well as case studies, political progress, media coverage and resources.

Read Billy's blog to find out what he had to say in an opinion piece for politics.co.uk: Microchipping dogs is only the start.

Read: Royal Mail welcomes government plans to extend legal protection against dog attacks, 6th February 2013

Want to Join Us?

For application forms and information on how to become a member of the CWU.

Join Us