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19th April 2024

Pet Abduction Bill will finally give pets the recognition they deserve, says animal charity

The UK’s biggest cat charity Cats Protection has again welcomed the Pet Abduction Bill after it cleared another hurdle through parliament today. 

The Bill – proposed by Anna Firth MP – will give cats and their owners greater protection in law and help prevent pet theft. 

Annabel Berdy, Senior Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Cats Protection said: “Pets share our lives, and any pet owner will confirm that they are much more than just mere property, they’re part of the family. It is impossible to compare the companionship, fun and comfort that pets bring to our lives to something like a bike or a mobile phone. 

“Pets are sentient beings, capable of feeling pain, fear and stress, which is what makes pet abduction a particularly nasty crime. Stolen animals are at high risk of mistreatment, and owners may live in permanent limbo, never knowing what has happened to them or if they’ll ever come home.

“This new law would finally give pets the full recognition they deserve and help stamp out the criminal activities that prey on much-loved pet cats by onward selling or from breeding kittens to sell.  With an ever-growing demand for purebred and pedigree cats in particular, we need to act quickly to stamp out backstreet breeding.

A new and specific offence will also enable police to finally build an accurate picture of pet theft across England and Northern Ireland by requiring a specific log, as opposed to the current situation where pet theft is recorded as property theft. Currently, it’s a catch-22 situation – we know pet theft is going on, but because it’s not being individually recorded we can’t get a grip on the scale of it.

“We’re hugely encouraged to see the Pet Abduction Bill making such swift progress through parliament and will be working tirelessly with other animal charities and politicians to push it forwards. We cannot let this important opportunity to protect pets and owners slip through our hands.”


Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity and has helped an average of 157,000 cats and kittens a year over the last five years through its national network which includes around 200 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.

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