Royal Mail has welcomed a government consultation on imposing tougher penalties for owners whose dogs attack their staff.
More than 2,400 postmen and women were attacked by dogs in the year to April 2013 – and the growth of e-commerce means that more delivery staff are being exposed to the risk of attack.
Royal Mail said that since April 2011, there have been over 5,500 attacks on Royal Mail postmen and women, some leading to a permanent disabling injury. Attacks have resulted in the loss of 4,100 working days due to injuries.
Currently, legal protection against attacks by dogs does not extend beyond the garden gate. This is a particular problem for postmen and women, who each visit hundreds of private addresses every day on their delivery rounds.
Royal Mail said that while the number of attacks had fallen by 24 per cent nationally since 2011, it still remained unacceptably high. “Every dog attack on one of our postmen or women is one dog attack too many.”