|Packed house for pet theft event
There was standing room only at the latest All-Parliamentary Dog Welfare Group (APDAWG) event last week about pet theft.
The campaign to make pet theft a crime in its own right was given a boost by the event as a packed room at Westminster heard from a number of speakers who shared their knowledge and experience of the issue.
Currently a Pet Theft Bill, promoted by Ross Thompson MP, is waiting for its second reading. It has been delayed at least twice as Parliament has been subsumed with Brexit.
The legislation has been drafted by Professor John Cooper QC and the hope is that it will give courts the strength to prosecute pet theft.
Campaigners believe that there is no deterrent for pet theft and for those cases that do go to court pet thieves are being let off without custodial sentences.
Speaking at the event Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, said, 'Our pets are not things,our pets are part of our family... These dogs are part of us and the law treats them as things.
'We must push like mad for pet theft. We want it fixed. No one is getting custodial sentences for this.
'(This is) broken we can fix it.'
OUR DOGS spoke to Marc Abraham, co-founder of APDAWG, said, 'We had an MPs drop-in event and over 30 MPs turned up.
'There was another full house for the meeting and there was standing room only, the room was over capacity.
'As usual there was a good atmosphere and we are pleased to give people a platform.
'Who would ever go against (a pet theft law). A dog is a family member not a phone. Pet theft is on the increase because there is no deterrent, people are doing it because they know they can get away with it.
'It is important to raise awareness about this issue. On the whole I think it is a no brainer.'
Dr Daniel Allen, who along with the Stolen & Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA), has been campaigning to make pet theft a separate offence, also spoke to OUR DOGS.
He said, 'The event went very well. There were lots of MPs at the drop-in, over 30 I believe. APDAWG were fully packed and it was very positive there is continued interest.
'Pet theft is on on the increase and the charges are declining.
'We are not sure when there will be a second reading of the bill and nothing will happen before Brexit.
'We need to shine a light on the issue and make sure that MPs are aware of it. It is so important that APDAWG are supporting it.
'It is really important that we are still there as the public and politicians want change. At some point we will see change.'