Stolen gundog puppies sparks microchip debate.

A Buckinghamshire police officer has warned that thefts of working dogs are continuing in rural areas, and that microchipping should be considered to tackle the crime.

His words came after thieves last week stole a litter of 11 five-week-old working gundog puppies from Dorney, in the south of the county.

PC Graham Johnston said: ?I would urge owners of working dogs to consider microchipping if they haven?t done so already as theft of this type of animal does seem to be on the increase.?

The puppies? owner, Andrew Wiltshire, described the animals as ?distinctive? with identifiable markings.

The litter (pictured) of seven yellow Labradors (three bitches and four dogs) and four black Labradors (one bitch and three dogs).

PC Johnston said: ?Offenders targeted this litter and knew what they were going for. This crime has left the owners distraught. The dogs are probably now many miles away destined for a working life, but please do contact us with any information.?

Meanwhile, plans are in place to enforce the microchipping of new-born puppies, according to a leaked Government document seen by the Mail on Sunday.

The document reads:

?The compulsory microchipping of dogs on change of ownership would affect anyone breeding dogs for sale or gifting to another person or persons. This would apply to breeding dogs, whether they are a breeder or a private person whose bitch has a litter, whether planned or not.?

There has been no official word from the Government on the proposals, but a DEFRA spokesman said it would announce its plans soon.

To report information on the thefts of the 11 puppies, email Graham.Johnston@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

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