Does Your Mp Support Pet Theft Reform?
Sir David Amess MP and Gareth Johnson MP supporting #PetTheftReform with Debbie Matthews at the APDAWG sponsored MP drop-in at Westminster (February 2019)
Call to Action:
Write to Your MP
If you are concerned about dog theft, write to your MP and ask them to support Pet Theft Reform.
Please feel free to use of adapt the template letter provided below:
Re: Pet Theft Reform
Dear __________ MP,
As one of your constituents, I am writing as I am concerned about the rise in dog thefts, and disappointed by the Defra response to the “Make dog theft a specific criminal offence” government petition I recently signed.
[ADD A SHORT PARAGRAPH WHICH EXPRESSES PERSONAL CONCERNS]
The response also states that the theft of a dog is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 with a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. But in the first Pet Theft Reform debate in July 2018 the Government Minister said. “a seven-year maximum penalty is largely theoretical for pet theft unless there are other aggravating circumstances.”
Courts in reality give out very small fines because in law our pets are second hand goods with low replacement value.
Also the Government’s response states that the new maximum custodial penalty for causing animal cruelty will be increased to 5 years making it the highest penalty for animal cruelty in Europe. But the truth is both Greece and the Ukraine have higher penalties.
As dog theft continues to escalate, I am sure you will appreciate my concerns as one of your constituents, regarding the above ambiguities and the inaction.
The Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA) has been campaigning since 2014 for a simple amendment to the Theft Act, to include a separate definition for our domestic pets. We need #PetTheftReform to give courts access to appropriate custodial sentences to act as a deterrent, provide punishment, and protect the public.
I understand the Lord Chancellor is in talks with the Sentencing Council and this old, copy and paste response from Defra has caused much upset and confusion!