A candidate to be the next Police Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys is leading a campaign to introduce a new law that will make it easier to prosecute people who steal pets and impose tougher sentences. Jon Burns has launched a petition and is asking people across the four counties of Powys, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to sign it. He hopes to collect 10,000 signatures. At present, 'Pet Theft' is dealt with under the Theft Act 1968, which treats the theft of animals in the same way as non-living objects like a mobile phone, attaching a monetary rather than emotional value to what is stolen.
The scourge of Domestic Pet Theft has grown during the pandemic with the demand for pet dogs on the rise, and in turn, the price asked by breeders. Some estimates put the increase of so called “dognapping” at 250%. Several high-profile cases across Wales and along the English border have brought the problem into the limelight in recent weeks. Criminal gangs steal pedigree pet dogs, often in broad daylight and from back gardens, either to sell on straight away or for breeding. According to the Dogs Trust, only 5% of reported dog thefts lead to a conviction.
The petition says, "We, the undersigned, call upon the Government to introduce a specific law against the theft of domestic pets with a deterrent sentence to distinguish the crime from the theft of non-living objects."
It can be viewed and signed here - https://www.jonburns.co.uk/pet_theft