Royal Mail Group/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Royal Mail Group/CWU Dog Awareness Week 2020 – Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July

Postmen and women at Royal Mail deliver six days a week to around 30 million addresses across the UK and dog attacks are a significant hazard with over 49 postmen and women attacked each week across the UK, some leading to a permanent and disabling injury.

2,500 dog attacks have taken place on postmen and women across the UK in the past year. Despite joint dog awareness campaigns run by Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union, dog attacks remains unacceptably high.

83% of attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the garden and we are appealing to all dog owners to think TWICE when the postman or woman calls to deliver mail and parcels.

Royal Mail is appealing to dog owners to ensure they understand the impact of dog attacks on postmen and women who are only doing their job.

Royal Mail knows that not all dogs are dangerous, in fact most don’t present a problem but if a dog feels it or its’ territory is being threatened it will be defensive.

CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce said “Some irresponsible dog owners failure to control their animals remains a major concern for postal workers and the public with around 2,500 more recorded dog attacks last year on postmen and women amongst which were some very serious maulings and injury incidents.”

“The number of dog attacks in UK society continues to rise, 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. “

“As our members deliver more parcels, packets, express, tracked and signed-for deliveries, as a result of booming internet sales, during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown they still face Dog hazards. Parcel  traffic has increased 50% and postmen and women continue to collect and deliver thousands of Covid-19 test kits to/from the public and testing labs daily as part of our fantastic contribution to the nation’s safety and wellbeing. We need the public to fully appreciate the essential ‘lifeline’ service postal workers provide and for dog owners to think about the safety of postal workers in return.”

“We want dog owners to simply control and contain their animals when the postman or postwoman calls. Some customers are sadly failing in their responsibility to Postal workers. We want people to simply take a minute to think about securing their dogs in a safe place before opening the door. In many cases this doesn’t happen and as a result, too many dog attacks occur. 83% of them occur on the doorstep or garden path.  This must stop – we want dog owners to work with us and support Postal workers who they rely on to deliver their goods, medical provisions and other important items. For those who act irresponsibly, we need the Police and courts to clamp down on bad ownership, using the full force of the law to hold these people to account for the devastating, life changing injuries they cause to postmen and women, which continues to be all too familiar.”

“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.  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 their deliveries.”

“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. A dog owner in Sheffield was sent to prison for four and a half months after his two dogs got out and savaged a postmen.”

“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”.


Top tips for dog owners

Here are some ideas to help your postman or woman deliver your post in safety:

  • Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in a secure room or the back garden.
  • If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman or woman calls.
  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to collect a parcel. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door.
  • Make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived before you let your pet back out. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
  • If your dog likes to attack your letter box as the mail comes through – fit  a wire letterbox cage/receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman or woman’s fingers.
  • If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or woman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.
  • Please ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date. These are both legal requirements for dog owners and failure to comply can result in a heavy fine.


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