YOU CAN HELP GET PET THEFT REFORM ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA.
The Pet Theft Reform petition debate has been postponed until the new Petitions Committee has been selected.
Write to, or email, your local MP: The Pet Theft debate continues! This template letter is asking for your MP to support #PetTheftReform to protect our pets.
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Subject: Pet Theft Reform
The Pet Theft Reform debate has been postponed and the Petitions Committee have confirmed a date will be forthcoming soon.
I have been a firm supporter of Dr. Daniel Allen’s and Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance’s (SAMPA) #PetTheftReform petitions over the last couple of years, to classify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right and I’m happy to tell you that both petitions achieved the required 100,000 signatures in just a few months. The first Pet Theft Reform petition was debated on the 2nd July 2018 in Westminster Hall and since then the support has continued to grow. Animal welfare charities such as Dog Trust, National Animal Welfare Trust, RSPCA, Kennel Club and Blue Cross also continue to back the demand for this change, including many MP’s cross party.
I appreciate the 1968 Theft Act with its emotional distress update in 2016 for personal items should act as a deterrent but as this vile crime continues to increase year on year it clearly is not working and as long as our priceless and irreplaceable dogs and other domestic pets are being categorised as inanimate property with no separate definition this will remain the case. (We would like to point out that cars and bicycles do have separate definitions). The theft of these ‘items’ are seen as a low risk, high reward crime, because of the sentencing council’s guidelines from Defra, they remain a category 4 offence, as 2nd hand goods and valued under £500. The seven year custodial sentence banded around by Defra for Pet Theft can never be handed out by a magistrates court!
Dr Daniel Allen, Animal Geographer at Keele University and SAMPA patron has explained why we need Pet Theft Reform: Dog theft on the rise: how in danger is your pet and what can be done about it?: https://theconversation.com/dog-theft-on-the-rise-how-in-danger-is-your-pet-and-what-can-be-done-about-it-125010
Spatialities of Dog Theft: A Critical Perspective: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/5/209
Pet Theft Reform:- Petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/244530
SAMPA has set out two routes to reform.
One is to revise sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to ‘reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right’, including a simple ‘domestic pet’ definition.
The second route is to ‘amend animal welfare law to make pet theft a specific offence’ through the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This would ensure courts consider the fear, alarm or distress to sentient animals rather than their monetary value.
I also support the need for one central microchip database and Compulsory Microchip Checking on new pets first veterinary consultation and at annual checkups for pets that have never been cross checked on their original database. Depending on BVA and RCVS best practice recommendations is not working. This is the only opportunity a stolen and sold on pet will have to get back home and this is a serious fairness issue and a failure of the microchip system.
As my MP, I am asking you to attend the Pet Theft Reform Debate in Parliament and I will update you with further information.
Thank you for your time.
I support #PetTheftReform
For more information: StolenAndMissingPetsAlliance.co.uk
Feel free to use the template letter including your own feelings and/or experience of your missing or stolen dog, cat, horse or any other pet and include a poster.
MPs are far more likely to reply if they receive personal correspondence from you and don’t forget to ask family, friends and neighbours to write in, as the more letters they receive on one topic pushes the issue to the top of the pile.
Prefer to tweet? You can use the example below, getting your MPs Twitter address from http://tweetyourmp.com/
#PetTheftReform debate [@MPname] as my MP, please join @sampauk_ @Dr_Dan_1 and support them in #Parliament on 11th November 2019