The Royal Mail has launched its annual Dog Awareness Week with the aim of reducing dog attacks on staff and encouraging responsible dog ownership.
Around eight postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK and the number rises by more than a quarter during the school holidays when parents and children are at home and dogs can sometimes be unsupervised in the garden.
Rob Jenson, Royal Mail operations director for the north of England, said: “Dog Awareness Week continues to go from strength to strength raising awareness of the problems of dog attacks and the problems postmen and women face when they are delivering the mail.
“However, last year there were still too many incidents and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one too many.
“We know that most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.
“Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers. We would appeal to owners to keep their pets under control.”
New legislation was brought in last year to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in both public and private, protecting individuals such as postal workers, health professionals and children.