Pets: Theft

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st November 2019.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of making pet theft a specific crime.

Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Theft of a pet is already a criminal offence punishable by a penalty of up to 7 years imprisonment. In February 2016, the independent Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences. The guidelines take account of the emotional distress, and therefore harm, that the theft of a much beloved pet can have on the victim, and accordingly recommend higher penalties for such offences.

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