Government taskforce set up to tackle ‘deplorable’ pet theft

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Government taskforce has been set up to look into tackling the “deplorable” crime of pet theft.

In March, DogLost a UK charity that helps victims of dog theft, recorded a 170% increase in the crime, from 172 dogs reported stolen in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

The taskforce will look into what is contributing to the increase in thefts, and recommend solutions to tackle the problem.
It will be made up of officials from Defra, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice as well as the police, seeking input from animal welfare groups and experts.
It will be made up of officials from Defra, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice as well as the police, seeking input from animal welfare groups and experts.

“Pet owners shouldn’t live in fear so we’ve set up this taskforce to thoroughly investigate the issue and ensure that we have the measures in place to stop these criminals in their tracks.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Having callous thieves steal a much-loved pet is heart-breaking for families and it is deplorable that criminals seek to profit from this cruel crime.

“We are already taking action to combat such lawlessness by bolstering the police with 20,000 extra officers but this new taskforce will ensure we know how best to combat the driving forces behind this distressing crime and clamp down on the perpetrators.”

The police have advised that dog owners should avoid leaving their pet unattended while out in public, vary their routines when walking their dogs and should take basic security steps at home such as checking locks on doors and garden gates.

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