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Royal Mail launches inquiry into dog attacks
ROYAL Mail has launched an inquiry into dog attacks after revealing postal workers across the country are suffering up to 4,000 attacks each year.
The news follows News Shopper's Shop A Dog campaign calling on the government to extend legislation to include dog attacks on private land - therefore protecting workers such as postmen and carers.
The inquiry will be led by Sir Gordon Langley and will aim to make specific recommendations to reduce the number of dog attacks.
According to Royal Mail more than 24,000 postmen and women have been attacked by dogs on their delivery rounds since 2006, including 471 in London and 1,991 across the south-east.
Since April last year 390 workers have taken time off sick as a result of dog attacks, with 4,100 working days being lost, costing Royal Mail around £400,000.
Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon said: "It is an offence to decency that good people should suffer these attacks when carrying out their daily jobs and serving the public."
Two years ago we reported how a German shepherd dog attacked postal worker Yiannakos Theodosszou in Aylesham Road, Orpington, biting his back and left hip, piercing the flesh to the bone.
At the time, he said: "I really did think my life was over, that the dog would maul me to death."
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) launched its Bite Back campaign in 2008 to raise awareness about responsible dog ownership and get new laws in place to protect people who are attacked on private property.
Shop A Dog
What we want the government to change
:: Increase the sentence for owning a banned dog - in line with carrying a knife. The current banned types are: pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Braziliero.
:: Extend the law to include dog attacks on private land - therefore protecting workers such as postmen and carers.
:: Increase the prison sentences for owners convicted of allowing their dog to attack humans.
:: Force all Staffordshire Bull Terriers to wear a muzzle in public.
:: Simplify the court process so that banned dogs can be destroyed immediately.