Monday, 29 Nov 2021

Royal Mail denies plans for US-style mailboxes to stop dogs attacking posties

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Royal Mail has batted off claims it plans to introduce US-style post boxes in a bid to halt dog attacks on its posties.

It had been reported postal chiefs were drawing up plans to encourage customers with aggressive dogs to buy boxes opened with a QR code, rather than letters being pushed through the door.

These would be positioned on the perimeter of properties to reduce the chance of attacks, much like the style found in the United States.

But the claims have been quashed, with a spokesperson telling TeamDogs its focus remains on raising awareness to combat the problem.

They said: "There are no plans to require US-style post-boxes in the UK.

"Our focus remains on raising awareness of the issue, giving our people the right training, encouraging responsible dog ownership, and pursuing irresponsible dog owners in the courts.

"The health and safety of our people remains our number one priority."

Royal Mail recently reported that the number of dog attacks on its postal workers fell by nearly a third in the past year, because of changes to deliveries during the pandemic.

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During the Covid lockdowns, it launched contact-free delivery, enabling workers to take letters and parcels to the doorstep while adhering to social distancing measures.

These changes in deliveries resulted in 1,690 dog attacks on posties last year, compared with 2,445 the previous year.

But Royal Mail said the number of attacks was still too high, with 33 each week, some of which lead to permanent and disabling injuries.

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Whilst discussions are being had to find alternatives to posting through letterboxes to deal with problem dogs, Royal Mail confirmed there are currently no plans to require the US-style post-boxes in the UK.

Royal Mail runs an annual Dog Awareness Week to encourage responsible dog ownership and help protect postal workers against attacks.

Its website says: "Even the most loveable dog can be a danger to postal workers. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable."

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The Royal Mail website shares the following top tips for dog owners:

  • If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get around to the front when the postman or postwoman calls.

  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.

  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.

  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.

  • If your dog likes to attack your mail, consider installing a wire letter box behind the door to protect your post and the postman or postwoman’s fingers.

  • If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or postwoman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.

  • Please microchip your dog. Ensure it wears a collar and tag, and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date.

  • Dogs
  • Royal Mail
  • TeamDogs

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