Theft: Pets

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd February 2018.

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Photo of Rosie Duffield Rosie Duffield Labour, Canterbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has assessed the potential merits of introducing a new criminal offence of theft of a pet.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Theft of a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968. The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. The Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences in February 2016. The guidelines take account of the emotional distress and therefore harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and accordingly recommends higher penalties for such offences.

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