This article has been written to change the law on pet abduction.

The rise in pet thefts is high with a 194% increase in cat theft between 2015 & 2020 and the overall cases of pet thefts involving dogs and puppies being 70% of all cases. This has now become a major problem.

change the law on pet abduction
Stolen cat

WHAT IS THE CURRENT LAW ON PET ABDUCTION.

A law was passed in 1968 classifying pet theft as a crime only under the ‘theft act’. This in effect means your pet, a beloved family member, was treated by the police and the courts as a ‘thing’. The criminal ‘could’ get a maximum of 7 years in prison if caught but this full sentence was so rare in being given out that it made pet abduction an easy crime, hence the soar in numbers.

change the law on pet abduction
Stolen cat

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2021 WITH THE PETITIONS TO CHANGE THE LAW?

Defra did announce new animal welfare bills under the overall umbrella of The Animal Welfare Bill to give stronger protections for kept animals in Great Britain, thus formally recognising that animals are sentient beings. As part of the animal welfare bill, and after 4 petitions, 3 debates in parliament, and the government setting up a ‘Pet Task Force’ it was announced that pet abduction would finally be a separate crime with harsher penalties. Your pet was no longer classified as a thing that people owned – like a piece of furniture.

change the law on pet abduction
Stolen cat

WHY ARE PEOPLE ANGRY NOW?

On 25th May 2023 the animal welfare bill was dropped by the government.

Suella Braverman, The Secretary of State, has stated that she wants to proceed separately with elements of the bill such as ending live exports of animals for fattening and slaughter and clamping down on puppy smuggling but no mention of making pet abduction a criminal offence in its own right.

change the law on pet abduction
Stolen cat

WHY WAS THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT DROPPED?

The BBC spoke to Environment Minister Mark Spencer who said “measures in the Kept Animal Bill would now be delivered in different ways!” He did not explain what that meant.

He stated “He told MPs he had to scrap the bill because Labour were going “to play political games”. He did not explain what that meant!

However, as the BBC article explains, one animal charity has accused ministers of “an astonishing betrayal”.

Claire Bass, a senior director at the Humane Society International/UK, added that the bill “needed only a few more hours in the Commons to succeed, “so parliamentary time is clearly not the real issue here”.

Claire Bass added: “The real reason, Whitehall sources tell us, that the bill has been dropped is because of concerns that it could act as a vehicle for uncomfortable debates that the government does not want held on polarising issues such as hunting with dogs.”

As the RSPCA states “We are facing the very real prospect of a dramatic downward spiral in animal welfare”. Most pet owners and animal advocates feel the same way.

change the law on pet abduction
Stolen cat

WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?

Another petition has been organised to keep the pressure up on the government. You should sign here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/640101  if you say yes or agree to the following questions:

  1. My pet is not my property
  2. My pet is a valued member of my family unit
  3. Animals are sentient beings who need to be respected and treated with kindness
  4. We need to protect animals and have their welfare at heart
  5. Animals are not just here for us
  6. We share this planet with animals and it’s not just about OUR needs
  7. Animals matter
  8. Our pets matter
  9. Pet theft should be labelled as a specific crime
  10. We will fight this government to push the animal welfare cat through

I AGREE TO ALL OF THE ABOVE. WHERE DO I SIGN?

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/640101

LINKS TO ASSIST FURTHER 

Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPAuk): https://www.stolenandmissingpetsalliance.co.uk/

Vets get Scanning: https://vetsgetscanning.co.uk/

Animal Search UK: https://www.animalsearchuk.co.uk/

Pets Reunited: https://www.petsreunited.com/

 

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About this author:

change the law on pet abduction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anita Kelsey holds a first class honours degree in Feline Behaviour and Psychology (work based BA Hons) and runs a vet referral service dedicated strictly to the diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats. She is also a qualified cat groomer and specialises in grooming challenging or phobic cats. Anita, a strong advocate of a vegan lifestyle, is based in East Sussex but consults all over the UK as well as international requests. She lives with her husband, a music producer, and 1 Norwegian Forest cat, Kiki.

Click to read genuine reviews on Google Maps: https://maps.app.goo.gl/4grgX2M7kUB2EevJ8

Her first book ‘Claws. Confessions Of A Professional Cat Groomer‘ was published by John Blake in 2017 with her second book, Let’s Talk About Cats self published via Amazon worldwide in 2020. The Little Book Of Extraordinary Cats is Anita’s third book out now 2024.

change the law on pet abduction