Canvassers warned: ‘Beware of dogs’

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As political campaigners across the UK start knocking on doors ahead of the general election, rural insurer NFU Mutual has warned that those chasing the countryside vote might find it has unexpected teeth.

Over the past two years, the insurer paid out over £1 million in claims for dogs biting visitors to rural properties.

Nicki Whittaker, Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “The amended Dangerous Dogs Act came into effect in England and Wales on May 13, 2014 and changes to the legislation mean owners can now face prosecution if their dog bites or is aggressive towards someone whilst on their property.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, postal workers topped the insurer’s list of people bitten whilst visiting homes in the countryside, with delivery drivers, guests and tradespeople following close behind. But according to a survey carried out in 2014, politicians face similar risks of being attacked by a dog to postal workers when out canvassing or delivering leaflets.

Whittaker concluded: “Rural dogs often have the run of the grounds around the property. This means that political canvassers could find themselves confronted by a dog long before they reach the front door.”