Pet Theft Reform can be achieved by making minor revisions to existing legislation.
The 1968 Theft Act and 2016 updated guidelines: (fails to mention domestic pets anywhere within the current legislation which has led to confusion in the courts, as they continue to treat our pets as inanimate objects).
1. Reclassify Pet Theft as a specific crime in its own right within the Sentencing Guidelines, as is the case with vehicles and bicycles.
2. Revise the Sentencing Guidelines so the monetary value of a pet is no longer the main factor in sentencing an offender. The theft of a dog with a perceived monetary value of £50 should be treated the same as a dog valued at £5,000. As family members, pets are priceless and irreplaceable.
3. Aggravated sentence provision for pet theft to give the courts more extended discretion.
4. Treat pet theft as category two offence or above, to act as a serious deterrent.
Animal Welfare Act 2006:-
1. Add pet theft to the Animal Welfare Act, as proposed by Rt Hon Ross Thomson’s Pet (Theft) Bill.
The Microchipping Of Dogs (England) Regulations 2016:-
1. It is compulsory to microchip dogs but optional for veterinary practices and other animal-related organisations to scan. Making scanning and checking microchip registration compulsory will help reunite missing and stolen pets.
2. Cats and other pets could be included.
Pet thieves see Pet Theft as a low risk high reward crime and we need #PetTheftReform to protect our pets.
Please write to your MP: https://www.stolenandmissingpetsalliance.co.uk/write-to-your-mp/