§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will assess the merits of introducing a life ban on dog ownership for people convicted of serious cruelty to dogs; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
[holding answer 7 June 2004]: Under the proposed Animal Welfare Bill we are considering the penalties which are available to the courts. We are also looking at ways of ensuring that an order banning a convicted person from keeping animals is effective and cannot be circumvented.