AN ANNUAL campaign which encourages people to keep their dogs on leads in the county's open countryside has been launched for a third consecutive year.

Denbighshire County Council and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have joined forces to launch this year’s campaign

The movement is aimed at residents and visitors to the countryside and includes the production of videos that will be shared on social media, features in the local media and online and direct engagement with people visiting scenic areas.

Cllr Tony Thomas, lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment for Denbighshire County Council, 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 - and we would like to 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. We have spoken to farmers who have lost sheep or have had their animals attacked. This really can be avoided by working together with dog owners, sending home the message that dogs should be kept on leads. We can really make a difference."

There has been a spate of attacks on sheep in recent months. Just last month, a sheep left was left "brutalised" after dog attack in Denbigh.

In January, a swan died in Rhyl following a suspected dog attack which left him with severe injuries.

Cllr Thomas added: "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."