Taking the Lead on dogs in the open countryside

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The Council and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty have joined forces to launch a brand new campaign, encouraging people to keep their animals on lead in the county’s open countryside.

The Take the Lead campaign is now in its second year and is being launched ahead of the start of the holiday season this Easter.  The campaign is targeting local residents and visitors to the countryside and wants to build on the success of last year’s initiative.

The campaign will include the production of videos that will be shared on social media, as well as features in the local media and online.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “We were delighted by the success of last year’s campaign and it seemed that people were listening to the message. We saw far more people acting responsibly and taking their dogs on leads in the countryside – we thank them for their efforts.

“However this is a kind of message that needs to be repeated time and time again to gain its maximum impact, so we will be sharing our campaign messages with locals and visitors and encourage the small minority who flout the law to take action.

“We have seen some incidents where sheep have been injured or killed as a result of attacks from dogs off their leads. This is what we need to avoid and by working together with dog owners, we can really make a difference”.

“They really must be mindful that they are crossing valuable grazing land where there are sheep roaming. The effects of attacks on animals can be devastating, to the animal and to the landowner.

Councillor Hugh Jones, Chair of the Advisory Committee, said: “We appreciate why people would want to go on walks in our scenic countryside in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many walkers bring dogs with them and whilst we want that to continue, all we are asking is that people respect the Countryside Code.

“There are plenty of warning signs and information about taking dogs on leads and we will be out and about over the coming months talking to owners and sharing our message to as wide an audience as possible”.

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