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Usdaw welcomes stronger laws on dangerous dogs that come into effect today

Date: 13 May 2014 From today owners could face jail terms of up to 14 years if their animals kill somebody and it will be an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including all private property.

John Hannett Usdaw General Secretary says: "Sadly, we are all too aware of stories of young children being mauled or even killed when left alone with pet dogs, revealing that some owners are unaware of the risks. Government figures reveal that dog attacks requiring hospital admissions have increased significantly in the last decade.

"Usdaw's members working as delivery drivers are particularly concerned about out of control dogs at private domestic properties where they are required to make deliveries.

"So we are pleased that reckless and negligent owners will now be held accountable and face a substantial increase in sentencing penalties. This is clearly a step in the right direction and we hope dog owners will take the necessary steps to keep their dog under control and make sure visitors to their property are safe from attack.

"We are now working with employers to ensure they are doing everything possible to train staff, monitor deliveries, identify at-risk properties and if necessary refuse deliveries."

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers