James Duddridge, Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East,
attended the reading of the 10 minute Rule Motion of the Pet (Theft) Bill which
follows from the debate on the 2nd July which aims to reclassify pet theft a a
specific crime. The intent is to amend the Animal Welfare Act (2006) to make
the theft of pets an offence.
As it stands theft of pets are treated the same as inanimate objects, this bill would
provide legislation which would make pet theft a crime in its own right.
On the 2nd July pet theft was debated in Westminster Hall following the e-petition
which called to reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right.
Rolo and James Duddridge MP
Ross Thomson MP introduced the bill to the House on Tuesday 3rd July. James
Duddridge MP was more than delighted to support this bill, sitting next to Ross
Thomson MP. James understands the importance of pets and agrees that animals
should be treated as more than inanimate objects by law.
Over the past week in lead up to this bill James Duddridge MP has seen several
constituents regarding animal welfare issues including pet theft.
Claire Dean, proud owner of Rolo, a rescue therapy dog discussed with James the
issue of puppy farming, which is of great importance to them as Rolo was rescued
from a puppy farm and survived illness caused due to it.
Barbara Beer was another constituent who has been campaigning for tougher pet
theft laws, particularly when involving dog theft. Barbara is a campaigner for ‘Justice
for Ivy UK’
Ross Thomson MP said in parliament:
“Our pets are much more than possessions. It is not difficult to appreciate how truly
awful, heartbreaking and simply devastating a crime pet theft can be.”
“As the law stands, our pets are not inherently considered any different from
inanimate objects. Sentencing is based predominantly on the financial loss to the
“For too long, too many pet owners have gone through the absolute hell and misery
that pet theft can cause, and too many pet thieves have got away with a mere slap
on the wrist. That is unacceptable, and it is time for change.”
James Duddridge MP said:
“A pet is a part of the family, and the family along with the pet deserve the
punishment to fit the crime. A pet is worth so much more than their material value”
“Having spoken with several constituents in the week leading up to this bill reading it
became even more important to me to support this bill”
The Pet (Theft) Bill will now proceed to its second reading in the House of
Commons, scheduled for the 26th October.