Hautes-Pyrénées: victims of more than one bite per month, dog risk factors

In four years, La Poste agents have been the victim of at least fifty dog ​​bites during mail distribution. This Thursday, about sixty postmen were trained by a ethical veterinarian.

“When you come to a street, the first dog will always alert everyone else …” “If dogs are free, sometimes many, it is inevitable that there will be fear. What attitude should we have?» With nearly 400 homes visited daily during their rounds, postmen in the Tarb area often face the risk of the dog, being in one of the two homes.Meetings originating anxiety but also workplace accidents, with at least 50 bites recorded in the ranks of postmen in the Hautes-Pyrénées over the past four years. ”This is one of the leading causes of accidents in work for postmen, summarized Olivier Marçais, who manages communications at La Poste. In France, 2,000 are bitten each year, resulting in trauma and sometimes long-term loss because two-thirds of these attacks cause leg injuries. »

Always be vigilant

In an attempt to curb this danger inherent in the profession and its imagination, La Poste organizes training sessions for its postmen. In Tarbes, about sixty of them thus passed between the legs of Béatrice Laffitte, ethical veterinarian, assisted by Delphine, but also by Pipo, Cherkan and Maïden, for a more practical stage after the first theoretical training. “The idea is to prevent dog attacks for this exposed population, presenting the specialist who follows a postman in his or her stages to better appreciate the recurring difficulties. Every day you go through the edge. in the territory.This will lead to aggressive reactions from dogs crescendo in repetitive trails.Despite themselves, postmen are a public that moves and disturbs the dogs, even if they more aggressive or dangerous, or not. »

Béatrice Laffite, ethical veterinarian, and Dorine rehearse the scenes that postmen have to deal with every day./ Photo by Andy Barréjot

Responsible owners

The veterinarian then details the proper ways to approach a dog, never to go in front, or from above, or expose his pups or his arms, or raise his voice. “The idea is to first understand how the dog behaves, for example the three-dimensional view of it that makes us bigger. It’s a question with the least invasive and bad behavior. for the dog, continues Béatrice Laffitte.The ideal is to have a relaxed but careful approach.Even if there is a master or not does not change anything, because the dogs can not control themselves.Although nice, they are not educated. The problem is often to keep this watch throughout the tour.It is not easy to avoid the routine. “And the specialist invites reasons to ask customers to go to them to limit contact of dogs. “It is also important that there is an exchange between the causes of the dogs in their circulation, the manner of capturing them, especially in the presence of a substitute, the veterinarian specifies. Especially since the covid period also affects the behavior of the animals that have lost socialization, with a form of loneliness in their master or family and a climate that arouses anxiety affecting men and animals. »

Béatrice Laffite, ethical veterinarian, and Dorine rehearse the scenes that postmen have to deal with every day./ Photo by Andy Barréjot

Béatrice Laffite, ethical veterinarian, and Dorine rehearse the scenes that postmen have to deal with every day./ Photo by Andy Barréjot

Also, in case of difficulties with a dog, it is important to report them to the owner as well as superiors. “If the owner doesn’t want to do anything to ensure the situation, don’t go there anymore, the veterinarian insisted. People take this dog. They are responsible for their actions. Often postmen are too much. patience or over-investment and the owners will not respect you. »

Limiting contact between the postman and the dog, by raising awareness among the owners, is a priority for La Poste, reminding us that if there is a sting, an accident report is established. Criminally liable, the owner must pay for three consecutive veterinary checks as well as any medical expenses.

“I didn’t put my life in danger for a dog”

“When I applied to be a letter carrier, I didn’t expect dogs to be so dangerous, blow this agent who provides substitutes. I was always afraid of dogs. For example, I have a house where the gate is raised but where the dog still goes through his mouth on it. I reported it and haven’t been there since. I didn’t put my life on the line for a dog. I once had a cut dress after a ball. But I was not hurt. I’m really scared of dogs… ”

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