Date lodged: 13 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address dog theft.
Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 27 February 2019
Dog theft is dealt with under the common law of theft. In any given case, courts have discretion in sentencing decisions to reflect the individual facts and circumstances of each case, with maximum penalties available all the way up to life imprisonment. In 2016 the Scottish Government made it compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped and for contact details to be kept up to date. This was to ensure the swift return of lost and stolen dogs. It is standard practice for enforcement agencies to scan dogs coming into their care.