As I was drinking my now-cold cappuccino at my local coffee shop early in the morning, an email notification popped up on the bottom right hand corner of my screen. An invitation to Parliament to discuss the rise in dog theft across the UK. Despite my initial excitement at the thought of going to Parliament, my heart sank a little at the prospect that dog theft has now become a national concern.
Dog Theft Awareness Day is around the corner and it is an issue that, despite recent political events gets very little coverage.
More than 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen to police forces in England and Wales since the start of 2013, a BBC investigation has found. (Link here)
This shows a 22% increase within the last two years so it is pretty safe to say that it’s a worryingly sharp rise and one that I feel needs highlighting in Parliament. Fortunately the MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson is keen to discuss this and propose a change in dog theft legislation.
Many may already know that in the eyes of the courts, animals are viewed as chattels, or possessions. If I asked most of my readers and fellow dog owners if they had to put a ‘value’ of a dog it would be absolutely priceless.
Nottinghamshire Police recorded the highest rate of dog thefts between 2013 and 2016. There were some two dogs stolen per 10,000 people served by the force.
That is where the law needs to be reformed.
Dog Theft Awareness Day is around the corner and those need to make sure their voice is heard! Fortunately I will be attending talks within Parliament on the 14th of March to discuss these issues. Do you have an experience of dog theft? Do you know someone that has been a victim of this thoughtless crime? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to raise this to those who have authority.
Over the last few weeks I have been reading up the history of animal rights. Upon my discovery I have realised that the history itself is relevantly short. It’s true, we have been living among animals for over 15,000 years starting with the domestication of dogs – shortly after this we started actively domesticating animals for farming and agriculture. As we harnessed this we have gained the trust of these animals and as with many things in life – there will be people who wish to abuse and take advantage of this. So the fundamental question is: When did we recognise that there is a welfare issue? When did we sympathise with animals and strive to improve their welfare and punish those who abuse them? I believe it entered into public awareness thanks to a man called Jeremy Bentham.