Pet Abduction Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 10:53 am on 24 May 2024.

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Lord Lexden:

Moved by Lord Lexden

That the Bill do now pass.

Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will say a few final words on behalf of my noble friend Lord Black of Brentwood, who took this Bill through Second Reading and is very sorry that he cannot be in his place today. I am glad to act on his behalf.

This is an important and long overdue Bill for those who love animals and, particularly, those who own dogs and cats. It is being recognised in law for the first time that they are sentient beings, and their abduction is very different from the theft of an inanimate object such as a phone or a laptop. As we heard on Second Reading, cats and dogs are part of families, and the law needs to reflect the appalling human toll that their abduction brings with it. We need to ensure that this callous crime is both recorded by the police and punished severely.

Many people have been involved in the progress of the Bill. Anna Firth in the other place introduced the legislation and piloted it through with skill and energy. She deserves much credit. Many charities have lent strong support. My noble friend the Minister and his officials have been extremely helpful throughout, and the opposition parties have ensured there is strong cross-party support for this measure. I am grateful to them all. This is an important day for animal welfare, and I am delighted that the Bill will reach the statute book right at the end of a Parliament that has seen great progress on this issue, which is of such importance to our society.

Bill passed.