LONDON, Jul 3 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Royal Mail launched its fifth Dog Awareness Week Monday by announcing 14,500 postmen and postwomen have been bitten while delivering letters over the past five years.
The awareness week, which runs from Monday until July 8, aims to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks and encourage responsible dog ownership.
The number of dog attacks on postmen and women has fallen by 7 percent in the past year, but it still means around 50 posties are being bitten every week.
A spokesman for the Post Office said: "This reduction in attacks is encouraging, but it is still too high. Every dog attack is one attack too many. On average there are still seven attacks taking place each day across Britain, some leading to a permanent and disabling injury. Postmen and women need to be able to deliver the service they provide in communities across the UK without the risk of injury."
In the last year, 71 percent of attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the front garden of homes across the country.
Figures show the number of dog attacks on postmen and women increases during summer holidays, when children and parents are at home and dogs are more likely to be out in the garden. At those times dogs are more likely to be unsupervised in the garden, or the dog is not kept under control when the postman or woman knocks on the door.
A special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from July 3 to July 8, 2017.
New dog control laws now identify and penalises irresponsible dog owners and many are now facing prosecution and paying heavy court penalties and criminal records.
One owner was recently fined 11,400 U.S. dollars after his dog injured a postwoman's fingers as she put letters through the door. Penalties can include owners losing their dogs, being banned from dog ownership, paying compensation and even a jail sentence.
Northern Ireland topped the chart for most post delivery staff being bitten in the past year, followed by Brighton, Peterborough and Guilford.