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Puppy Farms

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department is taking to regulate intermediaries who sell on animals bred on puppy farms, with regard to certification of the animals' health. [105342]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, which came into force on 30 December 1999, the keeper of a licensed dog breeding establishment can only lawfully sell a dog either from his or her own premises direct to a person who it is believed will not be selling it on, or to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or a Scottish rearing establishment.

A certificate of health is not required and there are no plans to introduce such a requirement into transactions, the conditions of which are essentially for the parties involved. The permitted sales outlets are, however, subject to stringent local authority licensing controls aimed at safeguarding the health and welfare of the animals involved. In addition, dogs sold through licensed pet shops/rearing establishments must wear a collar and identifying tag, to ensure that the originating breeder can be traced in all cases and not least by prospective purchasers wishing to make checks on a dog's provenance.

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The Home Office has recently issued guidance to local authorities about the administration and enforcement of this legislation.

Prison Statistics

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2000, Official Report, columns 217-18W, on prisoner statistics, if he will reformulate the table provided on Sudbury prison to show the number of prisoners serving a life sentence. [105662]

Mr. Boateng: The information requested, updated to December 1999, is given in the table.

Total population and life sentence population at Her Majesty's Prison Sudbury 1989-99

DateLife sentence prisonersLife sentence prisoners as a percentage of the total populationTotal population
30 June6912.8537
31 December6712.9518
30 June7714.7524
31 December7516.2464
30 June509.4534
31 December429.6436
30 June378.2450
31 December4310.7402
30 June5011.0455
31 December7117.5406
30 June7917.9441
31 December8020.0401
30 June8120.9387
31 December8121.5377
30 June7616.0474
31 December6414.0456
30 June6212.3504
31 December6213.4462
30 June6212.6493
31 December7214.8488
30 June7515.0499
31 December9118.7486

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in his projection of prison numbers for the next five years, what proportion of prisoners

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will be (a) female, (b) offenders in respect of cannabis, (c) class A drug offenders and (d) housed in hospital wings. [105928]

Mr. Boateng: The Research Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office provided revised projections of the prison population in England and Wales in October 1999. A summary of the projection is included in the October 1999 "Prison Population Brief" which is available on the Internet at

Projections are provided according to various alternative scenarios. The middle variant projection assumes that Crown Court custody rates increase at 0.6 per cent. for males and 1.1 per cent. per annum for females, but sentence

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lengths stay at 1998 levels. A higher variant assumes that from 2001, in addition to the custody rate increase assumed in the middle variant, sentence lengths increase by 1.5 per cent. per year for males and 2 per cent. per annum for females. The results are as given in the table. These scenarios both assume that the amount of courts' business remains constant over the period. Projections take into account known legislative and policy changes.

Information on the projected number of persons committed to custody for cannabis and class A drug offences are not available. Projections are not made by type of offence.

For persons housed in hospital wings, it is estimated that over the period of the projections between 1.5 and 1.7 per cent. of the prison population will be located in health care centres at any one time.

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Long-term projections projected through to 2007, England and Wales

Higher variant:
Total population67,80071,50072,90073,70075,10076,90078,60080,300
Female population3,7004,1004,5004,6004,7004,8004,9005,000
Females as a percentage of total population5.
Middle variant:
Total population67,30069,90070,70071,20071,80072,50073,50074,400
Female population3,7004,0004,2004,2004,3004,3004,4004,500
Females as a percentage of total population5.

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Road Traffic Offences

Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions, and how many (a) injuries and (b) deaths there were in each category of road traffic offence, in each of the last five years for which statistics are available. [105850]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is available only for those offences where death or injury are explicit in the wording of the charge and are shown in the table. Similar information for other offences is not available centrally as the circumstances of the offences are not collected.

Prosecutions for motoring offences involving death or injury, England and Wales, 1993-97

Causing death by dangerous driving352301305333376
Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs6348516378
Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking2726132728
Causing bodily harm by furious driving98122979985

Figures for 1998 are not yet available.

Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases relating to death on the road the charge was reduced from dangerous to careless driving in each of the last five years for which statistics are available. [105849]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is not available centrally.

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The statistics collected on court proceedings record only the offence for which the court took its final decision and not that for which the defendant was initially prosecuted, if different.

Domestic Violence

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government have to combat domestic violence suffered by men. [105844]

Mr. Boateng: The Government regard all forms of domestic violence as unacceptable, whether it is perpetrated by men on women, women on men or within same-sex relationships. The position of men who experience abuse is recognised in, for example, our 'Break the Chain' leaflet for domestic violence survivors and those such as family, friends and neighbours who might be able to help them. The evidence is, however, that, by comparison with men, women are more likely to experience domestic violence over a lifetime, more likely to experience repeat victimisation, more likely to be injured and to seek medical help, more likely to experience frightening threats, and more likely to be frightened and upset.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of male victims of domestic violence who are abused by their female partners. [105848]

Mr. Boateng: The most reliable figures available are from the 1996 British Crime Survey, which estimated that 650,000 men aged 16 to 59 had been assaulted by a current or former partner in 1995, of which 170,000 suffered some injury. 95 per cent. of the men assaulted had been assaulted by a female on the most recent occasion. 180,000 men said they had experienced frightening threats from a female or male partner (figures not available separately).

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