Dog Awareness Week runs between 15th-19th July this year and aims at highlighting the dangers of vicious dog attacks across the country. This year the Communication Workers Union and the Royal Mail will be working together alongside dog owners to ensure that animals are kept under control when postmen/women call to deliver mail.
Throughout the summer holidays there is a documented rise in dog attacks on postal workers – at the peak of dog attacks postal workers were recording as many as 6,500 in a year. This week is a chance to work with dog owners to change these statistics.
Health and Safety representatives from both the CWU and the Royal Mail have recently implemented a new 'Walk Risk Assessment Platform (WRAP) Dog Attack Policy', this in conjunction with local efforts to control risks and suspend deliveries where necessary have been driving factors in reducing the number of attacks in the past few years.
Dave Joyce, CWU health, safety and environment officer, said: "I hope this year's Dog Awareness Week will be a huge success and help to significantly raise the profile and level of awareness around dog attacks and what can be done to prevent them."
There have been a range of activities taking place during Dog Awareness Week:
- Royal Mail postmen and women have been sharing their dog attack experiences.
- Dog Awareness posters have been distributed to all Royal Mail offices in partnership with the Dogs Trust.
- Dogs Trust and Wood Green will be holding question and answer sessions on their Facebook pages with their behaviourists.
- Lord De Mauley, Parlimentary Under Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will become postman for the day when he goes out on a delivery round with a postman in London who has previously been a victim of a dog attack.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham is in support of this campaign;
"This is a serious issue and one that I am in support of, we need to be tackling irresponsible dog owners head on – getting to the root of the problem before incidents arise. The statistics for dog attacks on postal workers are shocking and I hope that raising awareness and offering access to online behaviourists will help the situation improve across the country."