The current microchip database system for pets is set to be updated and streamlined under new proposals by the government to help tackle pet thefts and abductions.

The proposals, part of a raft of measures suggested by the Pet Theft Taskforce, would simplify the system to allow for someone to update a pet microchip or search for particular information through a single point of access for all 16 current databases in England.

This update to the system also includes a requirement on the part of owners to add additional details to the microchip database, such as recording the transfer of a dog to a new owner.

As well as this, “pet abduction” is set to be made a criminal offence by itself, as opposed to being treated akin to property theft, which not only gives the crime the severity it deserves but also allows for dedicated independent reporting and investigation methodology.

Along with this, police forces across the country will raise awareness in conjunction with partner animal welfare agencies about new police initiatives to tackle crimes against our beloved pets and what steps can be taken to ensure you and your pet avoid being the victim of a crime.

With over 2000 dog thefts reported in 2020 alone as many owners stayed at home, the Pet Theft Taskforce was set up to try and help tackle this spike in abductions, and the conclusions they reached are aimed at disincentivising thieves.

The proposals, in particular separating pet abduction from theft and the changes to database management will make it harder for thieves to get away with stealing pets for financial gain, and increase the sentences they would receive for the crime.

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