Scotland’s dog theft law backed in consultation

A new law that would strengthen punishments for dog theft in Scotland has been backed in a public consultation.

The Dog Abduction (Scotland) Bill, which was proposed by Conservative MSP Maurice Golden, received full support from 92.4% of the 237 responses, while a further 4.2% were partially supportive.

The bill, which would create a specific crime of dog theft punishable by up to five years in prison, will now be lodged at Holyrood where it will seek support from MSPs in order to be introduced and potentially become law

Golden said: “The theft of a dog is among the most traumatic things that can happen to an owner, and as it stands the law simply doesn’t do them justice.

“The law also doesn’t do enough to deter thieves, to support police in tracking them down or to build a robust picture of the scale of the problem.

“My proposed Bill aims to address all of that.

He added: “MSPs from all parties in Holyrood have expressed support for this, and I look forward to working on a cross-party basis to move this proposed Bill to the next stage.

“It’s been long said dogs are people’s best friend – it’s time the law in Scotland gave them the status and protection they deserve.”

The Law Society of Scotland said it is not opposed to the creation of a new offence, but will require more evidence to prove there is a need for it.

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