A brand new law is to be launched in England which is able to make pet abduction a prison offence.
It comes after a reported rise in pet thefts over the course of the pandemic, with round 2,000 canine stolen final yr, in line with a pet theft taskforce.
At the moment the legislation in England signifies that pet theft is counted as a lack of proprietor’s property, however ministers hope to vary this to mirror the emotional misery attributable to dognappers.
It stays unknown what the sentence size for pet theft will probably be when the legislation comes into power.
However will the legislation apply to Scotland? Here is what you must know…
Will the brand new pet abduction legal guidelines in England apply to Scotland?
In brief, no, the brand new legislation on criminalising pet theft in England won’t apply to Scotland.
Scotland has its personal prison justice system separate from England as a result of the system is devolved.
Whereas the UK Parliament is sovereign and subsequently retains the proper to legislate, that is pretty uncommon with out the consent of the devolved nation.
At the moment in Scotland, stealing a pet has the identical penalty as stealing a telephone or pockets, as a result of pet theft just isn’t a selected crime.
It signifies that the extent of punishment pertains to the financial worth of the stolen property.
Nonetheless, campaigners in Scotland say the the present legal guidelines should not satisfactory and don’t take into account the emotional impression of pet theft.
This sentiment was mirrored by Westminster’s pet theft taskforce, which stated: “There’s rising public feeling that prison legislation and the sentencing for offences involving the theft of pets don’t sufficiently recognise an animal as one thing greater than mere property.
“We’re conscious of the calls from some campaigners to recognise that animals are totally different from inanimate objects via the creation of a brand new prison offence, or via a change to sentencing observe.”
Scottish campaigners are calling on the federal government to implement related measures as Westminster in coping with the issue, comparable to a taskforce.
What else did the English taskforce suggest?
Criminalising pet theft was simply one of many suggestions made by the English taskforce on pet theft.
Different suggestions embrace:
- Requiring extra particulars when registering a microchip, specific for transferring a canine to a brand new proprietor
- Simpler entry to the a number of microchip databases in operation to make it simpler to trace misplaced or stolen canine
- Higher and extra constant recording of pet thefts as information on the crimes is restricted
- Extra consciousness campaigns offering recommendation on how you can defend pets.