Pet theft will be considered a crime in England, after the phenomenon spread in the pandemic

Pet theft will be considered a crime in England. PHOTO: Getty Images

Pet theft will be considered a crime in England, after only 2,000 dogs were stolen last year. The new law seeks to recognize the emotional suffering that pet theft can cause, writes  BBC .

The proposal is part of a series of recommendations included in a report on these situations which increased rapidly during the restrictions. The team that submitted these recommendations includes government officials, police officers, prosecutors, and local government officials, who found that seven out of ten recorded pet thefts involved dogs. In fact, about 2,000 dogs have been reported stolen in 2020.

According to information provided by an animal protection organization, last year, the price for five of the most desired dog breeds in the UK increased “significantly” during the first blockade nationwide, some rising to 89%. In this context, the theft of dogs has become more attractive to criminals who want to take advantage of the growing demand.

At the same time, Google searches for the phrase “buy a puppy” increased by over 160% between March and August 2020.

It is not known at this time what the maximum punishment could be for the new crime, but measures will be introduced whereby owners will be able to register their dogs with the police, including photos and microchip information.

“Stealing a pet is a terrible crime that can cause great emotional suffering to families, while criminals fill their pockets. The new crime recognizes that animals are more than just property for people and will give the police the opportunity to bring to justice those sick people who steal them, “said Interior Minister Priti Patel.

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