Islwyn MP, Chris Evans attended the All-Party Group on Cats (APGOCATS) drop-in on cat theft this week in Parliament.
The event was a chance to discuss cat theft with animal welfare charities and campaigners including Cats Protection. Cases of recorded cat theft have reached an all-time high according to data from Pet Theft Awareness.
The Cat Theft report 2022 has found that, in 2021, the number of cases has increased an astonishing 40% since 2020 and quadrupled since 2015.
Current proposals for a pet abduction offence only extend to dogs and APGOCATS is calling for cats to also be protected. While this new offence only applies in England, the Welsh Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS, said that the Welsh Government is continuing to ‘discuss the proposed UK Government’s new criminal laws and how [they] can collaborate to tackle this serious issue”
Chris Evans MP said
‘Pets are invaluable members of our families, providing comfort, support and happiness. I know many of my constituents care deeply about this issue.
That is why I was proud to join animal welfare charities, including Cats Protection and Battersea Cats and Dogs home, in Parliament to hear about the work they are doing to change the law to include cats.
Pet theft is not a simple matter of theft of an item and nor should it be treated as such by the law. I am pleased that the Welsh Government are discussing with the UK Government on these proposals. I believe it is vital that we together to stop this appalling crime.’
Charlotte Broad, Advocacy and Government Relations Officer for Cats Protection added
“We know that 90% of cat owners see their pet as part of the family; so a decision to exclude cats from any new offence would be of extreme concern to Cats Protection and the millions of cat owners across the country. Cats Protection are delighted that so many parliamentarians have spoken up for cats on this important issue.”