Lichfield’s MP is calling for tougher action to prevent the “real problem” of pet theft.
A taskforce is being chaired by the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland together with officials from the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and Defra, as well as representatives from the police.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said the crime had a huge impact on victims.
“This is becoming a real problem and an abominable crime in Staffordshire and the broader West Midlands with pet owners distraught and the pets themselves being treated unkindly by the kidnappers.
“It needs to be stamped out.
“Stealing a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968, with offenders facing a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
“If the animal suffers during the theft, criminals are further liable to prosecution for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and could face an increased maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment from this summer onwards.
“But this doesn’t seem enough to deter criminal gangs.”Michael Fabricant MP
Mr Fabricant said people should make their voices heard on the issue.
“The taskforce is due to report back by the end of the summer and I hope that they will have firm proposals to crack down on this cruel practice.
“Constituents in the Lichfield constituency who have practical suggestions to make should write to me and we will pass these on to Robert Buckland who will be chairing the taskforce.”Michael Fabricant MP