As another toddler is attacked, union says government must not delay any longer

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The government must change dangerous dogs laws without delay, says the CWU, after an attack on Swindon toddler at the weekend.

Whilst thousands celebrated the Jubilee bank-holiday weekend, the sad news arrived of yet another toddler being savagely mauled by a dangerously out of control dog in a garden, due to irresponsible dog ownership.

The CWU – whose members in post and telecoms suffer 6,000 dog attacks every year – has responded with a warning that dog laws must be changed to prevent further attacks. The union’s reps are checking and updating delivery logs in the area to ensure postal workers are not put at risk.

CWU health and safety officer Dave Joyce said: “Yet again we hear the tragic news of another child victim of a dangerous dog attack caused by an irresponsible owner. This again sends a clear message to government that unless legislation and enforcement is toughened up, our streets, gardens and public parks are not safe from the menace of dangerous dogs and there will be more attacks like this one. I said the same in January when a little six-year old girl was attacked in a Chingford park and had an ear ripped off but all we’ve had from the government is yet another consultation. It’s time for action to be taken.”

Two postmen were nearly killed in dog attacks in Sheffield and Cambridge in recent years and 6,000 postal workers are attacked every year whilst delivering the country’s daily post. Last month, a Bristol postwoman nearly had her forearm torn off in an attack in the Kingswood area and dozens of postal workers lose fingers and suffer debilitating injuries from dog attacks.

Dave Joyce added: “We’ve been campaigning and lobbying for changes to the current law because it just doesn’t go far enough to tackle the issue. The public agree that the current law does not provide adequate protection. Our campaign has gained the support of both the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland governments who changed the law in 2011. We want the Westminster government to stop shilly-shallying and act now.”

The CWU Bite-Back campaign calls for:

  • Increased Police and Dog Warden powers,
  • Compulsory microchipping
  • Dog Control Notices introduced
  • Better enforcement and stiffer court penalties
  • Extend the Law to cover attacks on private land where 70% of attacks on postal workers occur but irresponsible owners are immune from prosecution.

Dave concluded: “The government needs to focus attention on tackling this problem now because we’ve had too many delays. David Cameron keeps talking about the ‘Monster of Health and Safety’ when he ought to start talking about the ‘Monster Dangerous Dogs’ blighting our society with no effective safety for workers, children and the public.”

The CWU campaign has widespread support from animal charities including the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Kennel Club as well as the Police Federation, Association of Chief Police Officers, Royal College of Nursing, the Vets national bodies, Dog Warden Association and major employers such as Royal Mail and BT.


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