Theo Clarke MP for Stafford is pleased that the Government is taking action to tackle dog theft following constituents raising this matter with her. A new criminal offence to crack down on dog theft and put people who steal these much loved pets behind bars for up to five years has been set out in the Government’s Kept Animals Bill. The Kept Animals Bill contains a number of measures to further protect pets, livestock and kept wild animals.
Prior to this new offence, pet theft was treated as a loss of property to the owner. This new offence will take into account the emotional distress caused to both the owner and the dog and will help judges’ ability to hand down more targeted penalties and sentences for pet thieves. By introducing this offence, the Government is following the recommendation of the Pet Theft Taskforce which was launched in May 2021 to tackle a reported rise in pet thefts during the pandemic.