STOURBRIDGE'S MP Suzanne Webb is supporting legislation for a dog DNA database to help combat a dramatic rise in pet theft.

The Bill is scheduled to be introduced in Parliament next week with supporters saying it s very much needed as dog theft has risen by 250 per cent in 2020, according to official estimates, as the pandemic led to greater demand for pets and increased prices for popular breeds.

Ms Webb, who has a spaniel type dog named Sid, said: “I would be absolutely heartbroken if my dog was stolen and I know many people are extremely worried about the rise of thefts at the moment and how difficult it is to prove ownership if the dog is found.

“Having a dog DNA database would make it impossible for thieves to claim any ownership as it is an indelible marker. I also believe it would act as an effective deterrent.

“I hope the Government will be supportive of the Bill when it comes before parliament. It certainly has my support and, I'm sure, the support of dog lovers across the West Midlands.”

The Bill, which has the backing of the RSPCA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, is scheduled to be introduced by Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith MP on July 7.

All dogs must be microchipped, under the current Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, but chips can be cut out by unscrupulous thieves.

Pet theft has risen so dramatically, the Government launched a dedicated Pet Theft Task Force in May to tackle the issue.