Union’s ‘Bite Back’ campaign calls for new laws to deal with irresponsible owners of aggressive dogs

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The CWU has expressed shock and sympathy, and renewed its call for an immediate strengthening of dangerous dogs laws, after five Metropolitan Police Officers were yesterday injured in a dog attack.

The union understands that four officers from Newham Police Station were seriously injured and a fifth received minor injuries when they went to an address in Stratford East London to make an arrest. They are being treated in Newham General Hospital and are said to be in a stable condition.

The dog, described as a Pit Bull type, was contained before being shot dead by a specialist firearms officers. A 20-year-old man was arrested and remains in custody in an east London police station.

The CWU’s Bite Back campaign, alongside the police and other groups, has long been calling for new dangerous dogs laws to deal with irresponsible owners of aggressive dogs.

CWU health and safety officer Dave Joyce said: “We need a change in the law to happen now. How many more tragedies will have to occur before the Government stops dithering and takes firm action to protect workers, the public and children from dangerous dogs? If these police officers were attacked on private property they could find themselves with no protection under the current law, as many postal workers do.”

“This has gone on far too long. Our campaign has gained the support of both the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Government who changed the law in 2011 – the English Government must stop dragging its feet and act fast.”

The CWU wants to see an extension to the law to cover attacks on private land where 70% of attacks on postal workers occur but irresponsible owners are immune from prosecution. It is also calling for increased police and dog warden powers, compulsory microchipping, the introduction of Dog Control Notices, better enforcement and stiffer court penalties.

CWU represents postal workers and telecom engineers who suffer more than 6,000 dog attacks each year and has been campaigning for a change in the law since 2008.


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