This week in Parliament, Neil called upon the Environment Secretary and his colleagues at the Home Office to introduce tougher penalties for dog theft.
Neil praised the creation of a new pet theft taskforce and urged the Government to allow time in Parliament to pass the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, proposed by Chris Loader MP, before the end of the parliamentary session. The Bill, which seeks to increase the maximum sentence for animal abuse from 6 months to 5 years, is currently at Committee Stage in the House of Lords.
“Pet theft is on the rise, partly because of the demand for pets through lockdown.
When gangs steal a pet, they cause harm not only to the pet, but to the families who miss it. We still do not have the five-year sentencing for animal cruelty, which my hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Chris Loder) has been trying his best to get through.
In the next Parliament, can we not only have that five-year sentencing for cruelty but link in dog theft to the legislation?”
George Eustice MP, the Environment Secretary said:
“The legislation on increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty is nearing its completion. I have a high degree of confidence that we will be able to get it through before the end of the Session. Indeed, we will say more about that over the next day or so.”