By Sally Underwood • 08 August 2021 • 13:54
UK government set to crack down on pet thefts. Image: Wikimedia
The government will reportedly introduce the legislation to crack down on pet thefts in the UK.
According to reports, the new legislation will make stealing a pet a separate criminal offence following the rise in dog and pet thefts in the past year.
Under the legislation, anyone found guilty of stealing a pet could receive up to five years in prison.
A government source said: “Instead of making a tokenistic change to the law, we have been listening to charities, breeders and the police to get a better understanding of what we need to do to tackle this awful crime.”
They added: “For most people, pets are not just property and having one stolen is traumatic for both the owner and the pet.
“A purpose-made new offense will do this and mean those who steal pets will face tougher sentences than they do at the moment.”
The move comes after half a million people signed a UK petition calling to make dog theft a specific crime.
Campaigners and MPs have been pushing for larger sentences for those who steal pets following a rise in animal thefts.
In May, police figures showed at least 1,791 offences of dog thefts were recorded in the previous year, an 11 per cent increase on the 1,612 reported in 2019 to 2020 in the UK.
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Originally from London, Sally is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a journalist for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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