A SOUTHEND MP is celebrating as her bill to crack down on pet abduction has passed through its final hurdles today to become a law.

Conservative MP for Southend West Anna Firth's Pet Abduction Bill has passed its final stage in the House of Lords and will now become a law.

The bill removes pets from being in the same legal category as inanimate objects and will make dog and cat abductions specific offences with perpetrators liable for a fine or time in prison. 

Ms Firth said: "I am absolutely delighted that my Pet Abduction Bill has now passed all of its Parliamentary stages and will go on to receive Royal Assent. 

"As a nation of pet-lovers, it is fantastic that the law will now recognise the emotional impact the theft of a pet can have and brings the perpetrators to justice in a way that correctly reflects this.

“Pets are not merely items in our lives, they are sentient beings, and it is absolutely right that the law now distinguishes this.

"My thanks to Lord Black, Debbie Matthews, Dr Dan Allen, Pet Theft Alliance, Tilly’s Angels, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and Cats Protection, the Dogs Trust, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Refuge and Pet Theft Awareness, all of whom have provided invaluable insight on my Bill."