Australia Post issues warning to millions as posties continue to be 'attacked'

Thousands of posties face 'stressful' work conditions every day. And offending residents risk being cut off from deliveries.

A man with face stitches after being attacked by a dog (left) and a Australia Post worker pushing mail (right).
Australia Post has issued a warning to dog owners after posties continue to be 'attacked, harassed and chased' by dogs while working. Source: Australia Post and Getty

Australia Post is urging dog owners to properly contain pets inside the home after it was revealed about 55 posties have an undesirable dog encounter every week in the country — with some copping serious injuries while making their delivieries.

New research released by Australia Post claims there has been over 1,400 dog-related incidents where posties have been either "attacked, harassed or chased by dogs" in the last six months.

The majority of these occur in the street where dogs are unsupervised or have escaped the residence, and up to 15 per cent of posties are being bitten while they'e simply putting mail through a letterbox.

While there is no particular breed considered more likely to attack, smaller dogs tend to show more aggressive behaviour to posties, Australia Post said.

"Customers must understand that for many Posties, it can be stressful or triggering knowing that your delivery round may involve a dog that shows aggressive behaviour," AusPost General Manager of Safety and Wellbeing, Rod Maule said. "Our team members just want to be able to deliver for our customers, without being attacked, harassed, or chased by dogs."

A man with face stitches after being attacked by a dog (left) and a leg with stitches in it (right).
Posties face serious injury when dogs attack them, with many recently requiring stitches. Source: Australia Post

The research follows a warning from Australia Post last year after an increase in the number of dog attacks was reported, with one postie from Sydney recalling his "painful" interaction with a dog while delivering mail to its owner.

"I went to move away but the customer then looked at his mail and let go of the larger dog, who’s then lunged at me and bit me on the leg," he recalled. "It was broken skin, a lot of blood, yeah it was quite painful. I was quite shocked."

A dog approaching a postie on a bike (left) and a dog biting a postie (right).
Thousands of posties have been attacked by a dog in the last six months. Source: Australia Post

Posties in Queensland continues to experience the highest number of dog-related incidents while at work, with 466 recored over the last six months. New South Wales wasn't far behind with 408 incidents, followed by Western Australia with 215.

Posties have been told to simply not deliver mail to a residence if a dog continues to show threatening behaviour, with councils notified if the issue persists.

  • Keep front gates securely closed.

  • Contain dogs in the backyard rather than the front and keep any side gates securely closed.

  • Contain dogs in another room while opening the door to receive parcel or delivery.

  • Consider using Parcel Lockers.

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