This week I have supported Royal Mail's Dog Awareness Week. There were three dog attacks recorded across Cardiff Central from April 2014 to April 2015.
Dog attacks on postal workers - and on politicians and activists delivering leaflets - are an ongoing issue. Royal Mail has published new figures this week which have revealed that around eight post men and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK.
Members of Parliament and Royal Mail are calling for responsible dog ownership and are appealing to dog owners to keep animals under control.
In May 2014, changes to the Dangerous Dog Act came into force. This legislation now ensures that post men and women have legal protection over attacks by dogs on private property and in gardens. There are also tougher penalties for irresponsible owners.
In 2014-15 the number of dog attacks on post men and women fell by 10% across the UK from more than 3,300 to 2,960, after this change in legislation and Royal Mail's dog awareness campaigns.
Dog attacks are a significant issue faced by post men and women, members of the public and indeed by politicians and volunteers when out leafleting. I'm pleased to support this campaign with Royal Mail, CWU, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the police, who are all doing a fantastic job promoting responsible dog ownership.
Even the most lovable dog can be a danger to postal staff. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable.
Here are some top tips to help your post man or woman deliver your post in safety:
- Make sure your dog is out of the way before the post man or woman arrives, keep garden gates closed so dogs can't run round to the front of the house.
- Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
- If your dog likes to attack your mail, think about getting a wire container. It will protect your post and your post man or woman's fingers!