Police encourage people to take the lead and act responsibly in the Clwydian Range

A campaign which encourages dog owners to keep their animals on leads in the open countryside in Denbighshire is gathering pace, with North Wales Police providing its support to the initiative.

The Police’s Rural Crime Unit has already launched Operation Flock to reduce the number of incidents across the North Wales region and aims to educate and raise awareness of the issue and encourage dog owners to think and act responsibly when they visit the countryside.

Officers from the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Denbighshire Countryside Service recently launched its own campaign, Take the Lead, the to tackle issues locally.

It is illegal for dogs to worry sheep when off lead, this includes a dog being at large in an area where sheep are grazing, chasing sheep and an actual attack. This can result in a large fine and potentially a destruction order for the dog.

Rob Taylor, the manager of the Police Rural Crime Team, said “Allowing your dog to roam freely in the presence of sheep can have devastating consequences.

“We see, all too often, the results of a sheep attack and the horrendous and cruel injuries that the animal can suffer. Owners potentially face heavy fines and the real possibility that the dog can have a court order imposed for its destruction.

“We ask owners to be responsible and carry and use a lead when walking their dog in the presence of sheep”.

David Shiel, Senior Countryside Officer with Denbighshire Countryside Service, said: “We have been concerned for some time about dogs being let off their leads, especially on Moel Famau but also on other countryside public footpaths across the county.

“We are concerned that dogs being allowed to roam free could result in more incidents of sheep worrying and increase the risk of injury to sheep, in particular around the lambing season.

“We see over 200,000 visitors to Moel Famau alone each year and many of them bring their dogs. The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is outstanding countryside, but we ask everyone to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, whilst respecting the fact that they will be crossing land used for grazing purposes.

“North Wales Police is one of our key partners and we are delighted that they are supporting the Take the Lead campaign, to help raise the profile of these issues and to encourage more people to keep their dogs on leads in our open countryside”.

Posted on Tuesday 20th June 2017