Ministers plan a DNA database for dogs to help tackle a surge in pet thefts during the pandemic
Ministers are considering plans for a DNA database for dogs to help tackle a surge in pet thefts.
A Whitehall source said there was growing interest in mimicking the National DNA Database, which has revolutionised crime fighting since its introduction in the mid-1990s.
The new system would require owners to supply a DNA swab from a pet’s mouth to be stored on a database used by police and local authority officials.
It follows a rise in pet thefts during the pandemic when demand for puppies drove prices to record levels
Cocker spaniels and labradors were among thieves’ prime targets, Direct Line Pet Insurance found.
Staffordshire bull terriers were the most sought after, with 97 stolen across the UK last year. While designer dogs, such as chihuahuas and French bulldogs, were also on the hit list.
DogLost, which works to reunite owners with missing pets, said dog thefts rose by up to 250 per cent in the last year. Boris Johnson is said to be ‘determined’ to tackle the scourge, which leaves families heartbroken.
Ministers rejected a bid by Labour this week to make pet theft a specific crime, arguing that it would lead to shorter sentences.
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