Concern over dog attacks on posties
Dog owners could be forced to take more responsibility for animals that attack postmen and women.
Royal Mail has said it welcomes an independent report which calls for new legislation against owners of dogs that attack its staff.
Between April 2011 to April 2012 42 postmen and women were attacked by dogs in the Bath postcode area.
More than 130 were attacked during the same period across the Bristol, Bath and Taunton postcode areas, and more than 3,000 nationally.
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The report was the result of an inquiry commissioned by Royal Mail Group’s chairman Donald Brydon and led by former High Court Judge Sir Gordon Langley.
The report highlighted that legal sanctions currently available in England and Wales when dogs attack people on private property are limited to action against the dog.
Tougher measures are available against owners whose dogs attack people in public places but these cannot be applied where the attack takes place on private property.
The Langley Report calls on Parliament to provide a new law, which removes this loophole, enabling legal action to be taken against owners of dogs wherever the attack takes place.
The report also called for the compulsory micro-chipping of all dogs within three years.
Sir Gordon said: “It is a matter of real concern to learn of the extent and frequency of attacks on postal workers and to find that for a considerable time there has been almost general agreement not only on the inadequacies of the present law in England and Wales but also on the nature of the reforms required to address it, but to date it remains unchanged.”