East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight welcomes moves towards new pet theft law

An East Yorkshire MP has welcomed a new criminal offence for pet theft which looks set to be introduced under Government plans to crack down on criminals.

Sir Greg Knight said the law would make it harder for thieves following a rise in pets being stolen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir Greg Knight said the law would make it easier to track pet abduction incidents following a rise in animals being stolen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new law, which has been urged upon the Government by a number of MPs including Sir Greg, will recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than mere property.

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The plans include proposals to make pet microchip databases more accessible for pet owners and a single point of access to all databases will simplify and streamline the system.

Sir Greg has welcomed the step towards creating the new offence following recommendations published by the government’s Pet Theft Task force.

The task force has considered evidence from academics, campaign groups, and animal welfare organisations as well as being urged to act by Members of Parliament.

Sir Greg said: “We do need to make it easier for the police to track pet abduction incidents and catch offenders.

“These proposals, when implemented, will make it harder for thieves to steal and sell pets and will make it easier for police to catch the cruel perpetrators.

“In addition, courts will be guided to ensure that the impact on the pet owners and the animal is reflected in the tougher sentences given.”