Pet Abduction to Be Criminal Offense in UK
Following an increase in reported thefts during COVID-19 lockdowns, pet abduction is to be made a criminal offense in the United Kingdom.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, there was an increase in pet dog theft in the United Kingdom, as well as an increase in pet dog prices. The British government considers theft to be a criminal offense and is working to combat this scourge in a country with approximately 10 million dogs.
The stolen animal is considered a lost possession, according to the current law in the UK. However, according to the Ministry of Environment, a bill that will be presented to Parliament will take into account the welfare of the animal as well as the fact that pets are considered more than property.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, animal organizations have warned of this scourge; representatives from all the political spectrum have called on the government to tighten penalties in this regard.
The demand for pets in Britain increased in light of the successive closure measures in the country, which led to high prices and aroused ambitions.
According to a report, 7 out of 10 thefts recorded by the police involved dogs. Prices of some highly sought-after species are up 89% from pre-pandemic levels.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Stealing a pet is an awful crime which can cause families great emotional distress whilst callous criminals line their pockets.
The new pet abduction offense acknowledges that animals are far more than just property - and will provide police with another tool to bring these sickening individuals to justice.
The length of imprisonment that may be imposed in these cases has not yet been determined.
The new pet abduction offense, according to RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood, will recognize the "seriousness" of the crime, adding, "We hope this will encourage courts to hand down much tougher sentences to pet thieves."