| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Britain hopes to make pet theft a criminal act

In an effort to curb a phenomenon that has worsened during the pandemic, a bill has been introduced by British authorities to make pet theft a criminal act.

A stolen animal is considered a lost possession, according to the current law in the Kingdom.

However, a bill that will be presented to Parliament, “taking into account the welfare of the animal and the fact that pets are considered more than a property,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Environment.

This decision comes in light of a report issued by a working group established by the government in May 2021 to confront the phenomenon of dog theft in a country that has a total of about 10 million dogs.

In the midst of the “Covid-19” epidemic, animal organizations have warned of this scourge, and representatives from all political spectrum have called on the government to tighten penalties in this regard.

The demand for pets in Britain increased in light of the successive closure measures in the country.

According to the report, seven out of ten thefts recorded by the police involved dogs. Prices of some highly sought-after species are up 89 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The theft of a pet is a terrible crime that can cause great grief to the family, while criminals try to profit from it.”

She pointed out that this new criminal measure provides the police with “a new tool to prosecute people before the judiciary.”

The length of imprisonment that may be imposed in these cases has not yet been determined.

Chris Sherwood, director general of the RSBCA, hopes this will “encourage the courts to impose tougher penalties on pet thieves.”

  • NNA