Thank you for contacting me regarding the rising rates of cat theft.
Britain is a nation of pet lovers and in 2021, the Government set up the Pet Theft Taskforce to investigate concerns about a perceived increase in pet theft.
This taskforce gathered, researched, and commissioned work to build a clear evidence base of the issue and worked with police, law enforcement, and experts to formulate recommendations.
Since publication of the report, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice have been working on implementing the taskforce’s recommendations.
The Kept Animals Bill made provisions for the introduction of a new criminal offence for pet abduction. I welcome the fact that although the bill was dropped, the Government has announced that various measures in Kept Animals Bill will be put to Parliament as individual bills
My views on other animal welfare issues are located here: https://www.sirpeterbottomley.com/campaigns/animal-welfare
After receiving a number of letters from constituents, I wrote to Lord Douglas-Miller, the relevant Minister on this matter at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to make clear constituent concerns regarding the matter of including cats within the offence of pet abduction.
I was pleased that his response highlighted the devastating impact that theft of a pet can have on pet owners, as well as stating the Government's commitment to supporting legislation on pet abduction when parliamentary time allows.
In the meantime, from 10th June 2024 it will be compulsory for cats to be microchipped in England. This new legislation will increase the likelihood that if a pet cat is lost or stolen it will be reunited with its owner.
I continue to monitor the issue closely.