Health & Safety

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Royal Mail / CWU Dog Awareness Week 2015

27 June 2015

The Royal Mail / CWU Dog Awareness Week (29 June - 3 July 2015) is an awareness campaign aimed at Royal Mail customers who are dog owners and Royal Mail delivery staff members. The annual Dog Awareness campaign's aim is to raise understanding of the issue of dog attacks on postmen and women with a purpose of avoiding and reducing the high number of serious injuries sustained by postal workers across the UK.

agressive dog

Whilst the campaign is aimed at postal delivery staff, CWU members in telecommunication business may also visit customers and come in to contact with dogs, and are also customers of Royal Mail.

Royal Mail and CWU are working in partnership to encourage responsible dog ownership and to appeal to dog owners to keep their animals under control when the postman or woman calls to deliver letters, packets and parcels or 'signed for' items.

Royal Mail Dog Attack Statistics

The official statistics are that since April 2012 there have been over 9,200 dog attacks on postmen and women, some leading to permanent disabling injury. On average currently around 9 postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK.

  • 2,967 of our postmen and women were attacked by dogs between April 2013 and April 2014.
  • 150 of these accidents resulted in injuries severe enough to require time off work.
  • 32% of the total year dog attacks took place in June, July & August.

While the number of attacks has fallen since the 2007-2008 peak, it still remains unacceptably high and the nature and seriousness of the injuries being received by Postal workers is a growing concern.

Why This Week?

The number of dog attacks peaks during the summer school holidays and we annually see a sharp increase in dog attacks on delivery Postal workers because more dogs are allowed out unsupervised in the better weather as families are out and about around their properties with doors and windows open, side and back doors are open and dogs are allowed to roam in and out on the property and in the locality. A third of all dog attacks on Postal Workers occur during the months of June, July and August.

Organisations Supporting the Campaign

The campaign is being supported by a wide range of organisations and animal charities including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Blue Cross, PDSA, Vets and the National Dog Wardens Association and other Trade Unions and organisations.

New Dog Microchipping Laws

Under new laws dog owners will be required to:

  • Microchip their dog by April 2016 (In England, Scotland and Wales - It is already Law in Northern Ireland).
  • Notify the relevant microchip database if their dog changes ownership/keepership.
  • Keep their details and contact information up to date on the database.
  • Puppies will have to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
  • If an Owner/Keeper does not get their dog microchipped or their details registered on an approved database, then they will be served a notice. If the keeper does not microchip their dogs within 21 days of the served notice, then they will be fined 500.
  • If any keeper subsequently moves, changes contact telephone number etc., and fails to update their information on the approved database, they will be served a notice. If the keeper does NOT get their details up to date within 21 days of the served notice, then they will be fined 500.

Micro-chipping will not only help get a dog back should it be lost or stolen, it will importantly link dog to owner in dog attack situations where ownership is denied as a defence against prosecution. It will be an offence to own or keep a dog that has not been microchipped.

Free Micro-chipping

To ensure that micro-chipping is accessible to all, Dogs Trust is offering "free micro-chipping" at all their Dog Rehoming Centres, simply call the nearest centre to make an appointment. Alternatively dog owners can get their dog micro-chipped free of charge at a participating local Vet.

For your nearest vet offering FREE micro-chipping from Dogs Trust go to http://www.chipmydog.org.uk/ or telephone 0330 123 0 334

Collar and Tag

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 says all dogs (with some working dog exemptions) must wear a collar and tag, with their owner's name, address and telephone number on it, whether the dog is microchipped or not. An owner can be fined up to 5,000 if their dog does not wear a dog identification tag or does not have the required information on it. A house number and postcode are all that is needed to specify an entire UK address, and as such it is perfectly acceptable to put just that and a surname if the dog tag does not have room for a full address.