Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a new taskforce will be established to help tackle the rapid increase in pet theft.
Work has also been carried out by officials and junior ministers with further steps to be announced “in due course.”
Currently, stealing a pet is classed as an offence under the Theft Act and can result in a maximum jail sentence of seven years. Sentencing Council guidelines mean emotional distress is also considered when deciding punishments.
However, ministers remain under pressure to introduce a new and more specific offence of stealing pet dogs.
A spokesman for the government explained: “Last month, the Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs met to discuss a cross-government approach to combating this issue and we will announce next steps in due course.
They added that “this builds upon the huge amounts of work already undertaken by junior…