In support of the 5th annual Dog Awareness Week the Royal Mail announced their latest statistics on dog attacks on postal delivery workers across the UK.
With over 14,500 dog attacks in the last 5 years ,the Royal Mail state that across the UK there are 7 attacks a day on postal workers with 71% of attacks occurring at the front door or in thee front garden.
Norther Ireland was specifically identified as the number of attacks increased by 20% in the last 12 months whereas attacks across the UK had fallen generally.
Whilst the Royal Mail accepts that most dogs are not inherently dangerous, Dog Awareness week is intended to raise the profile of the issue and highlight the fact that even normally placid dogs can attack when they feel that there territory is threatened.
The campaign provides some useful tips for owners as how to reduce the risk of an attack such as;
- not allowing children to open the door to the postman
- installing a wire post basket
- Feeding the dog around the time of the delivery or giving the dog a toy to play with
- restricting access to the hall or lobby area around the time of postal deliveries.
Blackfriars Insurance Managing Director, David J Burton ACII said “Owner’s should take all reasonable steps to reduce the chance of their dog attacking, not only postal staff but all members of the public”going on to say that “where an owner can be shown to be negligent in the care of the dog they could be held legally liable for both personal injury and property damage and it is important that they have the personal liability insurance in place to meet the costs of such an action”.