James Duddridge MP supports the 10 Minute Rule Motion to reclassify pet theft to a specific crime

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.