This week I attended a Dog Awareness Session hosted by Royal Mail in Westminster as part of their annual Dog Awareness Week.

Ian Murray MP 1

The session was supported by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust, and is part of Royal Mail’s wider campaign to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce the number of attacks on postal workers.

Dogs are a significant hazard to postal workers: on average, nine postwomen and men are injured by dogs while on duty each day and the number of attacks has risen by 8% nationally since 2012.

Royal Mail recently surveyed MPs about their experiences of dog attacks while out canvassing and delivering leaflets. While I have never personally suffered from a bite, over half of my colleagues who responded revealed that they had been involved in a dog-related incident, and these results show that politicians face similar risks of dog attacks to postal workers.

During the session, I learned and shared tips on how to protect myself and my colleagues from dog attacks while out canvassing in Edinburgh South. Royal Mail, CWU, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust are doing a fantastic job promoting responsible dog ownership and I fully support this important campaign.