Criminals will find it harder to steal or resell equipment belonging to farmers and tradespeople under new laws backed by MPs, according to the Government.

The Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill aims to prevent the theft of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), such as quad bikes, by requiring immobilisers and forensic marking to be fitted as standard on new machines.

It also gives ministers the power to require ATV sales to be recorded on a database.

An estimated 900 to 1,200 quad bikes and ATVs are stolen in England and Wales each year, with campaigners warning of the impact it has on the work of farmers.

Home Office minister Chris Philp said: “We expect to see, as a result of this legislation, a real decrease in the theft of all-terrain vehicles.

“The introduction of this extremely effective technology – immobilisers and forensic marking – will certainly help prevent theft, deter theft and enable detection afterwards.

“It’ll make it harder for criminals to sell on stolen machinery, having an important deterrent effect.”

Mr Philp also confirmed the Government intends to use the powers within the Bill to extend the security requirements to larger forms of agricultural equipment and “high-value” tools used by tradespeople.

He said a consultation will take place to “get the details right”, adding: “It strikes me as sensible that we use the powers in this Bill to address those areas as well.”

The Bill received an unopposed third reading in the House of Commons and will undergo further scrutiny in the House of Lords at a later date.