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MPs to debate pet theft petitions
The petitions calls to make pet theft a specific criminal offence.
Hundreds of thousands backed calls to make pet theft a specific criminal offence.

Two petitions relating to pet theft are set to be debated in parliament on Monday (19 October).

Petitions Committee member Tom Hunt MP (Ipswich) will lead the debate, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sending a Minister to respond.

The first petition, entitled 'Pet Theft Reform: Amend animal welfare law to make pet theft a specific offence' received more than 117,000 signatures. It states: “We propose to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to make pet theft a specific offence, distinct from that of inanimate objects; and in sentencing, the courts must consider the fear, alarm or distress to the pet and owners and not monetary value.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “Current sentencing guidelines takes account of the emotional distress that the theft of personal items such as a much-loved pet can have on victims, and recommend higher penalties for such offences.”

The second petition, 'Make pet theft crime a specific offence with custodial sentences', received more than 143,000 signatures. It states: “Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The sentencing guidelines now take account of the emotional distress and harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and recommends higher penalties for such offences.”

The debate starts at 16.30 and will last 90 minutes, during which MPs will be able to question government ministers directly on these issues. To watch the debate online, visit https://parliamentlive.tv/Commons

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Vet Professionals offering webinars on feline health for vets

News Story 1
 Vet Professionals - a company that provides advice and information to pet owners and veterinary staff - are offering free 'ten-minute tips' education sessions on a range of topics related to feline health.

The webinars are held on Wednesdays at 1.30pm via Zoom. Sessions typically last around 30 minutes and include a live Q&A session.

Upcoming sessions include:

- 'How to place naso-oesophageal feeding tubes in cats' - 14 October
- 'How to place oesophagostomy feeding tubes in cats' - 28 October
- 'How to calculate tube feeding nutritional requirements' - 18 November.

Full details on future sessions, as well as links to previous webinars and video tutorials, are available on the Vet Professionals website. 

Click here for more...
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More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.