Postmen raise dog attack fears with Pendle MP

MP Andrew Stephenson (right) with Pendle's postal team concerned about dogs. 3
MP Andrew Stephenson (right) with Pendle's postal team concerned about dogs. 3
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Postal workers with fears about dog attacks met up with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson.

They talked about the issue at the Royal Mail Sorting Office in Nelson.

And now Mr Stephenson is in a position to take action to make them safer.

He has expressed delight at being invited to join Parliament’s cross-party Dog Strategy Group – the same day that he met the Nelson-based team as part of Dog Awareness Week.

Interviewed at the meeting, postman James Thurstan said: “I’ve been bitten by dogs five times! It’s been across Pendle – it’s been Colne, Barrowford and Nelson.

“A lot of my other colleagues have been attacked by dogs, too.”

And while there, Mr Stephenson said: “I’m pleased to speak to the staff who have been victims of dog attacks.

“I’m pleased the Government has recently taken up the laws related to the dangerous acts of certain dogs. But, clearly, even more action is needed.”

And the Delivery Unit manager Mr Iain Woodcock added: “I am concerned that staff are affected by some dogs. We always advise them to take extra action. I’m pleased the MP is taking an active role on this.”

Regarding his new role Mr Stephenson made it clear that the Dog Strategy Group is made up of politicians from all parties and key stakeholders such as the RSPCA, Dog’s Trust, Blue Cross, Kennel Club, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and the British Veterinary Association.

It meets monthly to discuss issues around dog control, breeding, sale of puppies and responsible ownership as well as how to improve legislation.

Mr Stephenson said: “I was very pleased to be invited to join the group. There are a number of very serious concerns about dogs in Pendle, especially dog fighting and irresponsible ownership. Being part of the Dog Strategy Group will help to ensure those concerns are heard.

“I am really looking forward to working closely with fantastic organisations such as the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and others to make progress on these deeply important issues.”

This year’s Dog Awareness Week celebrated new laws Mr Stephenson campaigned for coming into force which legally protect postmen and women if they are attacked by a dog on private property, including in people’s gardens or in the communal area of a block flats.

The MP said: “More than 2,400 dog attacks were reported by Royal Mail postmen and women in the year to April, 2013, and my own mother lost part of a finger delivering leaflets. This is a change I had called for and I was pleased to celebrate it with our local Royal Mail delivery team.”