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Man versus dog: two postmen a week are being bitten by dogs

Postman versus dog: the oldest battle.

"Just biding my time, waiting for some quality human flesh"
Image: Dog via Shutterstock

POSTMEN IN IRELAND are regularly attacked by their oldest foe, the dog.

An Post employees who deliver letters and parcels to homes run the risk of coming face to face with their mortal enemy on a daily basis.

Figures released by An Post reveal that on average, two postmen are attacked or bitten by a dog every week in Ireland.

The number of dog attacks this year, up to April, stands at 38.

A spokesperson for An Post said: “Staff are under no obligation to deliver mail to an address where they feel they might be at risk.”

Ouch

The postman’s old enemy is causing problems in the Irish postal sector every year.

The number of dog attacks on postmen delivering mail in 2012 was 115. Last year that number increased by eight.

When asked what action An Post would take against the owner of a dog who attacked a postman, a spokesperson said it was their policy on such incidents involving dog attacks to report them to the Gardaí and to the local dog warden.

He said:

There is also a set procedure in place for potentially suspending mail services to a customer until the matter is resolved.

He clarified that a dog attack here means an incident in which one of their staff members was ‘attacked or bitten by a dog’.

Careful now

The State-owned postal service also warned those who have pets to be vigilant when the postman comes to their door and that An Post ‘would ask householders to be mindful of potential incidents that might occur.’

When asked if any other animals had attacked postmen, the spokesperson said:

Yes there have been very isolated reports of incidents involving animals other than dogs but they are very rare. And there are no figures available.

An Post employs approximately 10,000 staff across the country.

In spite of the number of dog attacks on postmen, Ireland has strict dog laws. Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for any damage caused in an attack on any person by their dog.

Last year, there were 4,005 on-the-spot fines issued across the country, of which only 1,439 were paid.

There were also 46 full-time dog wardens and 21 part-time wardens operating across the 34 local authorities.

Last year, the local authorities collectively prosecuted 277 dog owners and secured 139 convictions.

The highest number of on-the-spot fines occurred in South Dublin with 1,165. Cork County was second highest with 602.

Read: This brilliant ‘delivery note’ was left by the world’s greatest postman > 

Read: The BBC has found the world’s biggest Postman Pat fans > 

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