BATTERSEA COMMENT ON GOVERNMENT’S PET THEFT REPORT
Battersea’s Chief Executive, Peter Laurie, said: “We are really pleased to see the Government recognise the true value of pets, it is something Battersea has long been calling for. As any owner will tell you, their pets are more than property – they are a beloved member of the family. Losing a pet is heart-breaking under any circumstances but having them cruelly snatched away adds further distress to owner and animal alike. We hope that the introduction of a new ‘pet abduction offence’ will enable law enforcement to crack down on this terrible crime and prevent more harrowing incidents of animals being taken from their owners.
“Since compulsory microchipping was introduced five years ago, we have been recommending changes needed to make the system more effective. Recent research from Battersea found that 74 per cent of stray dogs did not currently have a microchip with up-to-date contact details and sadly some were unable to be reunited with their owners. Introducing new additional requirements for microchip details is a step in the right direction to getting more animals back in to their homes where they belong. We welcome the Government’s plans to improve the microchipping system by simplifying access to databases and making it easier for people to track a missing pet. Not only will this help tackle pet theft, it will also help deal with other animal welfare issues including reuniting missing pets with their owners and reducing the number of strays on the streets.”