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PET PROTECTION: MP for Watford supports legislation to help combat rising pet theft

 Published on: 7th July 2021   |   By: Lizzie Ellis   |   Category: Uncategorized

Watford’s MP has pledged his support for legislation that will pave the way for a dog DNA database to help combat a worrying increase in pet theft.

The Bill is scheduled to be introduced in parliament today and has the backing of the RSPCA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Dean Russell has said that a new law is needed because according to official estimates, dog theft has risen by 250% over 2020 as the pandemic led to more demand for pets and increased prices for popular breeds.

Dean said: “It is heartbreaking to hear when a dog has been stolen. I know many people in Watford are extremely worried about the rise of thefts at the moment and how difficult it can be to prove ownership if the dog is found, as in some cases the microchip can be removed.

“As I said earlier this year, we are a nation of animal lovers and during lockdown, pets have been a source of comfort and companionship. Over the last year Watford has recorded a 152% increase in dog ownership and figures have increased in every corner of the UK.

“Having a dog DNA database would make it highly problematic for thieves to claim any ownership as it is an indelible marker and I believe it would act as an effective deterrent.

“I hope the Bill will be supported today when it comes before Parliament. It certainly has my support and I’m sure all of the dog lovers across Watford.”

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