Feb 20th, 2023
I just had an email from Cats’ Protection wanting me to email my MP about extending a law for having a specific law about dog theft to also include cats. I am not going to do this for a number of reasons.
a) This is a useless piece of legislation for a load of reasons. For a start off it is covered by the existing law of theft (which in fact has a higher penalty than the dog law). Secondly – no one could be a greater proponent of animal rights than I am – but animals are fundamentally property under the law of the UK, and to change this would be incredibly difficult, expensive and ultimately useless.
b) I presume my MP has better things to do than worry about worthless pieces of legislation like this. Dealing with the current NHS problems, strikes and property affordability would be right at the top of my list and wasting public money is the last thing we need to do at the moment.
c) Pet animals in most cases have no extrinsic worth – regardless of how much we as individuals value them. For example – our two cats are moggies but our two previous cats were pedigrees. Amber and Saphy though we love them greatly would not be worth stealing for gain. Tora and Schrodi might have been worth stealing for money but only if we had not had them neutered when they were young.
d) I would question whether for most people (I don’t fall into this category by the way) – having an animal stolen is much worse than having something else of sentimental value taken.
e) Unless violence or cruelty is involved I do not think people should be sent to prison at all – certainly not for five years. For example if someone had stolen Tora and sold him on to someone else I would have been very aggrieved but I wouldn’t have wanted them locked up for it. Presumably the people buying him would have given him a good home or they would not have paid for him in the first place. A big fine and being put on litter clearing duty would do for me.
So for all these reasons I do not support this law and will not be emailing my MP about it.