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Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance his Department is providing to families in Northern Ireland who have yet to establish the location of the remains of relatives in order to allow for a proper burial. 
Paul Goggins: The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) was established in 1999 by treaty between the UK Government and the Irish Government. The objective of the Commission is to facilitate the location of the remains of the victims of violence, killed before 10 April 1998, as a result of acts committed on behalf of an unlawful organisation which has been proscribed under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996 in the UK or subject to a suppression order under the Offences Against the State Act 1939 in Ireland. These individuals are commonly known as 'The Disappeared'.
The Commission uses a range of investigative techniques in respect of information it receives about victims of violence within its remit. They aim to exhaust all reasonable steps to locate the remains of these individuals in order to facilitate a proper burial of those remains. They also aim to provide families with as much information as they can about the fate of their loved ones. The Commission shows tremendous dedication and commitment to their work, and their success in recovering the remains of Danny McIlhone in December 2008 is a testament to their approach.
I have met the families of the Disappeared on several occasions and I am always willing to listen to their concerns. In response to the views they raised initially with me the Northern Ireland Assembly has passed the Presumption of Death Act (Northern Ireland) 2009, enabling the families to gain some measure of closure by enabling the formal registration of the deaths of the Disappeared, and a confidential free telephone service for the ICLVR has been established. Some funding has also been provided to the WAVE Trauma Centre for their work with the families of the Disappeared.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward legislative proposals under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA has no proposals to prohibit the sale of dogs from pet shops. There are currently two independent inquiries underway looking into dog breeding. Both inquiries are expected to report in the next few months. We do not want to pre-empt the recommendations of the inquiries by bringing forward legislation in this area.
In the meantime, the welfare of dogs in pet shops continue to be covered by the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Under section 9 of the 2006 Act, all owners and keepers must provide for the welfare needs of their animal (the "welfare offence"). Anyone failing to do so could face a maximum penalty of £5,000, or six months' imprisonment, or both. In addition, pet shops have to be licensed by the local authority.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wild animals used in travelling circuses are protected by The Animal Welfare Act 2006, which prevents unnecessary cruelty or suffering to any vertebrate animal. The Act makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. This includes the need: for a suitable environment (place to live); for a suitable diet; to exhibit normal behaviour patterns; to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable); and to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.
A Feasibility Study is currently underway looking at the possibility of regulating wild animal acts in travelling circuses. The Feasibility Study is nearing completion and we expect it to be finalised by the end of the year.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have been prosecuted under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 for importing a prohibited breed of dog in each of the last five years. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department provides to police forces on the implementation of the measures in section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. 
Most recently, in April this year, DEFRA produced a document which explains the law on the prohibited type dogs "Dangerous Dogs Law-Guidance for Enforcers". This was produced in response to a consultation with police forces about the law in this area.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of dog owners proceeded against under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 subsequently had their dogs placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: It is not possible to provide clear figures on the numbers of people who have had their dogs added to the Index of Exempted Dogs as a result of being prosecuted under section 1(3) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. In addition to people who are prosecuted, there are those who have had their dogs added to the Index by way of a non-prosecution avenue (section 4B of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991-as amended, 1997).
|Number of Dogs processed by index||Certificates of exemption issued||Number certificate of exemption issued|
Information showing the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under section 1(3) of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act in England and Wales from 2003 to 2007 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts under section 1(3) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, England and Wales 2003 to 2007( 1, 2)|
|Offence description||Possession, without exemption, of a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa or other designated fighting dog|
|(1) The number proceeded against and number found guilty statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative datasystems generated by police forces and the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Evidence and Analysis Unit-Office for Criminal Justice Reform.
The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) data tapes, (b) CDs, (c) memory sticks, (d) laptops and (e) other equipment containing data of each type have been lost from (i) his Department and (ii) each of his Department's agencies in each of the last five years. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 3 November 2009]: Details of total losses or thefts from DEFRA and some of its agencies from 2005-06 onwards of mobile phones, blackberries (including PDAs) and laptops were provided in response to a question from the hon. Member from Putney (Justine Greening) 19 October 2009, Official Report, column 1212W. A further breakdown and complete agency figures are not available centrally and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. Prior to 2008, losses of data tapes, CDs and memory sticks were not recorded or collected centrally. Thereafter losses involving personal protected information were recorded and details were published in the 2008 departmental Annual Report:
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated research on the merits of microchipping of dogs. 
The Dog Identification Group (DIG) recommended in its 2000 report that a voluntary scheme for the permanent identification of dogs be introduced. Since the DIG report, there has been an increase in voluntary dog registration. At the forefront of this is Petlog, which is the largest pet reunification service in the UK. It manages a database of over 3,500,000 records. This is on hand 24 hours a day to authorised bodies such as animal wardens or animal welfare centres, who
can scan the chips in found animals and trace their owners via the Petlog database. Today up to 40-50 per cent. of dogs are registered on the Petlog system.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding the Government has allocated for the maintenance and
upgrading of flood defences in the West Midlands in the last five years. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency's Midlands Region has spent £114,260,000 to design and construct new defences and maintain existing ones in the West Midlands. The table shows the breakdown between capital, revenue and local levy funding.
|(1) Based on current year forecasts.|
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