SCOTS posties are biting back against aggressive dogs after being armed with a new weapon to protect them.
The peppermint-type spray is designed to stop the animal’s instinct to bite during an attack.
Around 300 dog attacks against postal workers were recorded by the Royal Mail last year.
And Scottish Power has also decided to hand out the new devices to its meter readers.
The spray – nicknamed ‘doggy mace’ – is said not to harm the animal but instead disorientates them giving the postie valuable time to make his escape before being bitten.
No lasting effects on animals
A vapour cloud with a minty smell and taste covers the dog’s face rendering it helpless for up to 20 minutes.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “Unfortunately, dog attacks are a hazard faced by our employees and we have recorded around 300 attacks in Scotland in the last 12 months.
“Our main aim is to prevent attacks, supported by an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the issue among our customers.”
Bite-Back was invented by an animal welfare officer who suffered facial injuries after he used an ultra-sonic device on a dangerous, but deaf, dog.
Pepper sprays can cause dogs to suffer heart attacks, so the inventor from Devon came up with a spray formula that has no lasting effects on the animal.
Tom Gatherer, deputy chief superintendent with the SSPCA, said: “Our inspectors and ambulance drivers do not use any kind of spray as they are highly skilled in dog handling.
“However, the SSPCA is not opposed to such sprays as long as it’s not harmful to the welfare of animals.”