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New Anti-Theft Law is Good News for Pet Owners in London!

July 3, 2024

A new Anti-theft Pet Law (May 2024) has sparked interest and questions among pet owners in London. Bayswater Vets wholeheartedly welcomes this law, which aims to provide stronger protection for our beloved furry companions and address the rising concerns surrounding pet theft. Let’s delve into the details and answer your questions below.

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What is the Pet Abduction Act 2024?

Bayswater Vets explains that the Pet Abduction Act 2024, a Private Members’ Bill championed by Anna Firth MP and Lord Black of Brentwood and backed by the Government, defines pet theft as a specific criminal offence.

There are now significant penalties for pet theft in England and Northern Ireland: up to five years in prison, a fine, or both. This recognises the emotional distress and loss experienced by families when their pets are stolen, and underscores the seriousness with which pet theft is regarded under this new legislation.

The Pet Abduction Act 2024 also strengthens pet sale and adoption regulations. Sellers and rescue centres must now verify the identity (ID) and address of potential owners before transferring pet ownership. This measure aims to prevent pets from falling into the hands of individuals with malicious intentions, such as pet thieves or those involved in illegal breeding operations.

What actions must pet owners take?

  1. Microchip your pet
  2. Keep your contact information up to date

A key provision of the new law is the mandatory microchipping of all dogs and cats – which has been the case since April 2016 for dogs over 8 weeks old in the UK, and since June 2024 for cats over 20 weeks old in England. Bayswater Vets highlights that this permanent form of identification cannot be easily removed or altered, serving as a crucial tool in reuniting lost or stolen pets with their owners, and aiding law enforcement in pet theft investigations.

We recommend microchipping rabbits, birds, exotics and other pets too for their safety.

Contact details must also be kept up to date on the microchip registry. Regularly updating this information is essential, particularly if you move house or change your contact information. Additionally, it’s crucial to obtain pets from reputable sources and exercise caution when engaging with online advertisements or offers that appear too good to be true.

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How we can help

Bayswater Vets applauds the Pet Abduction Act and Cat Microchipping Law in 2024 as significant advancements in pet safety for London and beyond. Increased awareness of pet theft as a crime, coupled with preventative measures, paves the way for a brighter future for pets and their owners.

We can help! If you have any questions or want to book a microchipping appointment, or get your pet’s chip and your details checked, just call our Bayswater vet practice on 020 7229 2040.

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