Jail for dog owners who’s pets kill or maim

Dog AwarenessOwners of dogs that attack and kill someone could face life in prison under new proposals for England and Wales. Sixteen people have been killed by dogs in the UK since 2005.

The proposals also aim to increase penalties for owners of dogs injure someone or kills a guide dog. New jail terms ranging from three years to a maximum of ten are on the table.

There’s one group of people who are looking at the proposals with a great deal of interest and that’s the country’s posties. Since April 2011, there have been over 5,500 dog 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.

Royal Mail recently held the UK’s first Dog Awareness Week, working alongside the Communication Workers Union (CWU) with support from a wide range of organisations and animal charities including Dogs Trust, DEFRA and Blue Cross to raise awareness of dog attacks on Royal Mail’s postmen and women and appeal to dog owners to work with them to help keep animals under control when the postman calls.

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, so it’s no surprise that Royal Mail are welcoming the Government’s commitment to amend the previous legislation to ensure our posties will be protected when they enter private property including a customer’s garden.

We know there are millions of responsible dog owners in the country, it’s just a shame a few can’t control their pets and let them run amok.