MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, has welcomed the Government’s announcement to create a new offence of ‘pet abduction’ to tackle the growing rates of pet theft – as a result, stolen animals will no longer be treated as a loss of property with the new offence recognising the emotional impact of losing a pet.
The new offence is one of several recommendations made by the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce and could see those found guilty facing a maximum of 7 years in prison.
The Taskforce was launched following a reported 250% increase in the theft of pets due to increased demand during the Covid pandemic with seven in 10 of the animal thefts recorded by the police involving dogs.
Alberto has previously lobbied the Home Secretary for tougher sentences for those convicted of pet theft and has welcomed the news.
Alberto said, “I am really delighted to see the Government acting on the concerns of my constituents and countless others across the country in taking a much firmer line on pet theft with the creation of this new offence and tougher sentences for those found guilty. I have been lobbying the Home Secretary and other Ministers on this matter for quite some months, and I am pleased that this new offence will soon become legislation and will provide peace of mind to pet owners across the country”.
Alberto added, “As a nation of animal lovers, myself included, it is absolutely right that greater consideration should be given to those offences that seek to take our pets away from us, and I greatly welcome the creation of the new pet abduction offence which recognises the emotional impact and anguish of having your stolen. It has been alarming to see rates of pet theft increasing during the pandemic, however I am confident that this new offence will deter would be criminals and will impose much tougher sentences for those found guilty”.