WQ92324 (e) Tabled on 21/03/2024

What consideration has the Welsh Government given to adopting the UK Government’s Pet Abduction Bill?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs | Answered on 27/03/2024

The theft of a pet is a criminal offence under the non-devolved Theft Act 1968 and the maximum penalty is seven years’ imprisonment.  I appreciate the loss of a pet can be distressing and officials are in dialogue with Local Authorities and the police regarding a range of matters around dog ownership. We are working to provide education for owners to help them protect their animals.  For example, ensuring microchipping data is current, not tying pets up outside shops, not leaving them unattended in gardens if not secure and not letting pets roam out of sight when out walking, all of which will feature in the ongoing work on Responsible Dog Ownership.

After careful consideration it has been decided to prioritise resources to existing commitments for animal welfare in Wales at this time and therefore Wales will not be included in the UK Government Private Members’ Bill on Animal Abduction.

The Welsh Government retains the right to legislate on this area in future, should this be necessary, but at present our ambitious plans for animal welfare in Wales must take precedence.