Pet accessory manufacturer Oscar and Hooch has partnered Exmoor National Park, to launch a national campaign to promote responsible dog walking in the countryside.
The campaign will run through the summer holidays, and will encourage dog owners to visit and enjoy national parks, but be respectful of local livestock and other wildlife.
They are also encouraged to clean up any dog mess and dispose of it properly to keep the park and other destinations clean and tidy for other walkers to enjoy and to prevent any harm or disease to other animals and wildlife.
Although most pet owners are responsible, there are some concerning issues associated with irresponsible dog ownership. According to NFU Mutual, the cost of livestock worrying has risen 67% over the past two years in the UK.
The rural insurer said not all livestock farmers insure against sheep worrying, but it estimates the annual cost to the industry is now £1.6m.
Dan Barnett, access and recreation manager, Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “Generally, your dog should be under close control at all times and there are specific areas and times of the year that they need to be kept on a lead. There are around 620 miles of public rights of way on Exmoor for you and your dog to enjoy.
“On public rights of way there is no legal requirement to keep your dog on a lead but, unless you are very confident about your dog’s obedience, we strongly recommend that you do as they must be under close control.”
Oscar and Hooch will be donating 10% of its dog-lead sales to the national park for the duration of the campaign.