This week Anna is joined by Beverley Cuddy who amongst other dog-centric roles, is one of the Patrons of SAMPA - the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance. They chat about the great news that government are introducing new legislation - the Pet Abduction Law to make penalties for dog theft in line with the crime. With specific legislation that recognises that dogs are clearly not ‘property’ or chattel with consequences of up to seven years in prison for ‘abducting’ a dog. The hope is that dog theft will decrease.
A long time coming, this law has been campaigned for years, not least by Debbie Matthews, and Vets get Scanning. For years criminals have optimised a loophole in the Theft Act 1968 where dogs have been previously classified along with laptops and lawnmowers!
The surge in dog theft through the pandemic when the demand for dogs outstripped their supply, made national headlines and brought the attention to the pain and suffering and complete devastation that stealing someone’s dog has on families.
Government’s change to classify dogs separately and not as part of the Theft Act 1968, which clearly has left families vulnerable to nasty criminals, has been spear-headed by Sir Iain Duncan-Smith. Having championed #PetTheftReform, he has helped bring massive change in only a few months. And a major move under their new Animal Action Plan which aims to make Britain a leader in animal welfare globally.
The term ‘abduction’ implies another aspect of their ‘plan’ to classify animals as sentient beings, which is significant and in line with modern socio-economic trends where dogs are now firmly considered as family members and not as property under the Theft Act 1968.
We are living with dogs in such different ways now, and dog ownership has soared compared to back in the day as we seek dogs constant companionship, their skills as de-stressors, and their gateway to the outdoors.
Discussing the positive changes Government have initiated, we also discuss why the legislation around Breed Specific Legislation isn’t as positive, where sadly only two MP’s attended a debate in parliament on its possible change much to the disappointment of the dog community.
In Beverley’s long standing position as Editor of Dogs Today Magazine and founder of Tailwise we also talk about why Beverley has launched a new Awards called the Bark Marks. Recognising successes in the dog world from best TV Vet to best Politician, how chuffed were we to get the scoop that A DOG’S LIFE has been nominated for ‘Best Dog Podcast’, which made our day!
Chatting about the recent amazing success of Operation Ark to evacuate NOWZAD’s animals and team, headed Pen Farthing, out of Afghanistan. And wonder who might play Pen in the movie!
For more information on SAMPA
Dogs Today Magazine
For more about Anna go to annawebb.co.uk
Music and production by Mike Hanson for Pod People Productions
Cover art by Jaijo
Cover photo by Rhain Ap Gruffydd at Gruff Pawtraits
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