The postmen of Britain will go to work today with a lighter spring in their step as new rules are brought in to protect them from dog attacks.
Amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act have come in to force which mean that dog owners need to ensure that they have control over their pets at home as well as in public.
Every year almost 6,000 people, a third of which are postal workers, are injured through dog attacks with a large percentage occurring on private property.
The recent changes to the law mean that owners need to ensure that their dogs do not bite or display threatening behaviour towards people whilst in the home. Before the amendment, dog owners could face criminal prosecution only if their dog had displayed aggressive or threatening behaviour towards a person in a public place.
The decision to extend prosecution to incidents that occur on private property coincides with other tougher dog laws brought in as part of the amended Dangerous Dogs Act. Under the new law, owners whose dogs attack a person could face up to five years in jail - up from the previous maximum of two. Owners whose dog kills someone could now go to prison for up to 14 years.
Roger Dennerly, Head of Litigation comments “The new rules are mainly designed to protect postmen but will mean that every owner will need to reassess their dog’s behaviour and dogs may need additional training on how to behave at the front door”.
If you would like assistance in relation to a personal injury claim, contact Roger on 0161 654 5821 for further information.