Source: Sky News (Extract)
Posted: May 4, 2023

Dog owners have been urged by Australia Post to ramp up efforts to maintain their pets in order to protect the safety of posties.

Data released on Thursday showed 1,885 incidents involving dogs and posties between July 2022 and March 2023, a rise on the 1,587 recorded in the 2021-2022 financial year.

Australia Post believes the rise in attacks is a result of the substantial increase of dogs in Australian households during the pandemic between 2019-2021.

New South Wales was the largest representative of attacks, recording an increase of 28 per cent from the previous full year, while Queensland was second with 555 incidents and Western Australia with 329.

Victoria and Tasmania had a combined 218 attacks with South Australia and the Northern Territory having 133 together.

Australia Post Executive General Manager People and Culture Susan Davies is urging dog owners to protect posties following the spate of attacks.

“Dogs off-leash or escaping their yard and chasing down our Posties, often along busy major roads, are of particular concern given the safety implications not only for our delivery personnel and the dog, but also those in the community,” Ms Davies said.

“We’re seeing increased instances of our Posties sustaining injuries by either falling off their vehicles while trying to avoid unrestrained dogs, or getting physically attacked by dogs jumping up and biting them.

“We want our team to be able to safely deliver to all Australians, so urge dog owners to please secure their dogs in the backyard or indoors.”

In another effort to prevent further attacks, the Cross Industry Dog Safety Taskforce has been introduced to share insight and assistance on prevention and avoidance of dog attacks, with supermarkets, telecommunications and logistics organisations set to collaborate on the program.

“We’re really excited about the collaborative nature of this taskforce and hope to be able to not only share our own insights into managing dog safety but also learn from others across various service industries,” Ms Davies said.

“We all have the same goal of protecting our team members, so it will be incredibly valuable to share our collective knowledge as we work to decrease the number of incidents.”

Dog attacks have become a growing issue for the broader Australian community in 2023, with five Queenslanders, including three children, suffering injuries across separate incidents in the state in April.

Queensland is in the midst of reviewing its dangerous dog laws as they aim to combat an increase in attacks.

Dog owners are encouraged to secure their dog in a back garden, keeping front and side gates securely closed while also taking care in opening the front door so they don’t rush out.