The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) has called on police forces to get a grip on the problem of dog theft.

The call comes after police officers recovered between 70 and 80 stolen dogs in a single raid in Carmarthenshire last week.

Dog theft increasing

Theft of dogs, including gundogs, is on the rise across the UK

Stolen dogs are often transported over huge distances, with animals that were stolen in Perthshire being found 24 hours later in the English Midlands. To combat this problem the NGO is calling for the establishment of a register or specially designated officer to co-ordinate intelligence gathering and sharing.

Liam Bell, chairman of the NGO, said: “The theft of dogs from homes is not a new crime but one that seems to be increasing in all regions of the UK. The effect a theft of a companion animal has is devastating and the loss, for many, can often be the same as losing a family member. “We want people to get behind this campaign and hope police and crime commissioners will support our endeavours.

“We want to help increase the number of dogs who are returned safely to their owners and therefore call for a national lead to be put in post as soon as possible.”