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UK to create new pet abduction offence after rise in dog thefts

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The offence is among the recommendations of a task force launched in May to tackle the reported rise in dog and other pet thefts, which have soared during the coronavirus crisis.

The price of some dog breeds has increased by as much as 89 percent since several lockdown periods in Britain, as interest in owning a pet surged, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This is blamed for making dog theft more appealing to criminals, with evidence suggesting police received around 2,000 reports of canines being stolen last year. The taskforce, comprising government officials as well as police, prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies, considered evidence from academics, animal welfare organisations and various experts.

In its report released Friday, it also recommended keeping reliable data on pet thefts to “build a stronger evidence base about the problem” and improving ownership records.

New requirements to register additional pet details and a single point of access to around 16 microchipping databases would support tracking lost and stolen dogs, the taskforce said. – NDTV

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