THE MP for Southend West is gaining cross-party support for a new bill that aims to criminalise the theft of pets.
Anna Firth’s Pet Abduction Bill, went through its first parliamentary stage this January. The Private Members’ Bill will now progress on to committee stage.
While it is already a criminal offence to steal a pet, with a maximum jail term of seven years for those convicted, the new bill aims to have a law introduced which will see pets classified as “more than just items of property, and instead as sentient beings […] that can be affected by the theft in their own right.”
Ms Firth said: “I am absolutely delighted that the pet abduction bill has passed its second reading and will move onto committee stage.
“As a nation of pet-lovers, it is vital that the law recognises the emotional impact the theft of a pet can have and brings the perpetrators to justice in a way that correctly reflects this.
“Pets are not merely items in our lives, they are sentient beings, and it is not right that the law does not distinguish this.
“My thanks to Debbie Matthews, Pet Theft Alliance, Tilly’s Angels, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and Cats Protection, the Dogs Trust, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Refuge and Pet Theft Awareness, all of whom have provided invaluable insight on the Bill.
“I look forward to the Bill progressing through Committee stage.”
Ms Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for DEFRA, added: “This vital Bill will introduce tougher punishments to recognise the severity of this shocking crime and should act as a deterrent to anyone considering stealing a pet. We will do all we can to support its swift passage through Parliament.”
Contact us. Email: [email protected]