CWU left disappointed as government orders yet another consultation

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Twelve postal workers a day will be attacked by dangerous dogs while the government dithers over another consultation, the CWU says.

The union welcomed the news the government is to extend existing dangerous dogs laws to any private property, closing a loophole in the current criminal law which only covers public land.

But the union is disappointed there is to be a consultation on how to introduce more comprehensive micro-chipping of dogs.

General secretary Billy Hayes said: “We were hoping that all the fanfare around the dangerous dogs announcement this weekend would mean that positive action was on the way. Instead all we’re getting is yet another consultation.

“It’s about time the law bit back to protect innocent dog attack victims. Thousands of postal workers and telecom engineers – along with other workers who go onto private property and parents of small children – desperately need the private property loophole closing so that they have some protection.

“Government action is well overdue and thousands of people have suffered debilitating injuries while the government has dragged its feet. What more do they need before taking action? We’ve had a comprehensive consultation, there’s cross-party support, now we need action.

CWU has been calling for the law to apply on private property for years and we fully back compulsory microchipping to identify the owners of dogs and encourage more responsible dog ownership.”

CWU launched its Bite Back campaign in 2008 following a horrific attack on a postal worker in Sheffield – Paul Coleman – which left him with severe scarring.

CWU health and safety officer Dave Joyce has led the union’s campaign and added: “Today’s announcement is a huge disappointment for our long-suffering members. We’ve had our hopes raised only to learn we could now face a delay of years until action is taken. UK dangerous dogs laws have been failing both dog attack victims and dog owners for decades and this is another unwelcome delay.

“Many of our members have endured sustained attacks by dogs of all breeds and have had no recourse in law – essentially being treated as trespassers when they are simply performing their job. We urge the government to take action and make good the promises of change to private property law and compulsory microchipping. These actions will make a huge difference, but while delays continue twelve postal workers will be attacked by dogs every day.”

70 per cent of the dog attacks on CWU members occur on private property where the law does not apply.

Dangerous dogs laws have already been changed in Scotland and Northern Ireland to address the shortfall in Westminster legislation. The Welsh Assembly is holding an event on 9th May to kick-start the process to change the laws in Wales.

The CWU represents postal delivery workers and telecom engineers who suffer 6,000 dog attacks each year.


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