Eastwood MP backs 'doggie DNA' campaign to protect dogs from theft

Pooches across Eastwood could become much better protected from thieves thanks to the proposed creation of a ‘dog DNA database’.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 10:28 am
Lee Anderson and his own beloved pet dog.

Lee Anderson MP for Eastwood, is campaigning to protect dogs and supported a Private Members Bill in Parliament this week, backed by animal welfare charity RSPCA.

Mr Anderson joined a group of dog-loving MPs to introduce the bill, which aims to create a national register of ‘doggie DNA’ as a long-term alternative to microchipping, creating a more modern solution to combat the growing scourge of dog theft as well as lost pets, ownership disputes and ‘puppy mills’.

Currently, under The Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015, all dogs must be microchipped, but these can be inserted incorrectly causing pain and suffering, sometimes work themselves out and can be cut out by unscrupulous thieves.

Dog theft increased by 250 per cent during 2020 according to official estimates and in May 2021, the Government launched a dedicated Pet Theft Taskforce to tackle the issue.

The MP also recently held a Zoom meeting with residents and the police to discuss the emotive topic.

Mr Anderson said: “A Doggie DNA database would have many uses including tackling the heart-breaking crime of dog theft.

“It would be a simple and more reliable version of the current microchips which can be cut out by thieves.

“Technology has moved on over the last decade and DNA is a unique record that is now easy and affordable to collect.

“I am proud to join the RSPCA in advocating for dogs welfare and I would encourage all constituents to show their support by using the #DoggieDNABill hashtag on social media.”

The Dogs (DNA Databases) Bill has already attracted the backing of more than 14 MPs, with more joining every day and the RSPCA calling upon members to contact their local MPs to add their names as supporters.

In March, a Police and Crime Commissioner ran a survey which received almost 125,000 respondents, 97 per cent of whom reported that ‘dognapping’ was a “serious problem” which needed to be tackled.

The creation of such a database has also been backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.