CONCERNS have been raised after signs urging dog owners to keep their pets on a lead on moorland and farmland were vandalised and stolen.

Officers from Bradford Council's countryside team put up the signs, with help from the Friends of Ilkley Moor group, at the more sensitive nesting areas on the top of the moor.

But the Council said most of them have now been ripped from their posts and stolen - less than two weeks after they were put up.

Danny Jackson, from the Council's countryside and rights of way team, said: "Dogs are naturally inquisitive, but this can lead to real problems, especially from now until the end of summer, when many species are breeding.

"It's not only the impact on ground-nesting birds, but dogs roaming free can disturb other wildlife including amphibians and mammals, as well as grazing livestock.

"The stolen signs will be replaced, but this adds to the cost of protecting the moorland areas and their wildlife.

"It will also take up valuable officer and volunteer time.

"We are asking users of the moors to respect the moorland environment and keep their dogs on a lead."

Anyone with information about who may be responsible for tampering with the signs should call the Council on 01274 431000.