MP backs campaign to protect Rother Valley dogs from thieves by creating ‘dog DNA database’

Alexander Stafford MP is campaigning to protect dogs across Rother Valley by supporting a Private Members Bill to create a national register of ‘doggie DNA’.

The Rother Valley MP is joining group of dog-loving members of Parliament led by Arundel and South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith to back the Bill in Parliament this wee.

The creation of the register would provide a long-term alternative to microchipping in order to combat the growing scourge of dog theft as well as lost pets, ownership disputes and puppy mills.

The RSPCA saidthat the measures would ‘streamline the process of registering dogs, making this easier for owners and authorities and vets to get the information they need’, adding: “We would encourage anyone who supports this Bill to get in touch with their MP to ask them to get involved.”

Alexander Stafford MP.

The Bill was introduced in a high-profile slot straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Currently, under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) 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 over 2020 according to official estimates and in May 2021 the Government launched a dedicated Pet Theft Taskforce to tackle the issue.

In March, a Police & 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.

Gloucestershire Police have already pioneered the use of an opt-in Dog DNA register.

Mr Stafford 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 will look forward to giving my support to the Bill after Prime Minister’s Questions next week. I would encourage all constituents to show their support by using the #DoggieDNABill hashtag on social media.”

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