A new task force to investigate the extent of pet theft across the country was launched on Monday.

Sales platforms have reported a considerable rise in puppy and kitten prices over the course of the past year following more people deciding to buy or adopt a pet.

The Government launched the Pet Theft Taskforce after recent reports have suggested that this may be leading to a rise in pet thefts.

The new taskforce has been set up to gather evidence to understand the factors that may be contributing to any perceived rise in thefts and to recommend any necessary measures to tackle the problem.

The taskforce will be made up of government officials from Defra, Home Office and Ministry of Justice as well as operational partners such as the police.