Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Health in order to merge the Food Standards Agency's livestock traceability scheme with his Department's animal tracing schemes. 
There are no plans to merge the livestock traceability work undertaken by DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency although DEFRA and the agency continue to collaborate closely. For example, Food Standards Agency official veterinarians already
make use of documentation required under DEFRA's livestock identification and movement regulations in checking the origin and identity of livestock entering slaughterhouses for human consumption.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have (a) been prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and (b) received the maximum sentence for ownership of a banned dog in each year since 1998; and how many weapon dogs have been seized by police in England and Wales in each of those years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts and those fined and given immediate custody under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, England and Wales, from 1998 to 2008 (latest available) can be viewed in the following table.
|The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, England and Wales, 1998 to 2008( 1,2)|
|1998||1999||2000( 3)||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008( 4)|
|(1) The 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 data systems generated by the courts and police forces. 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.
(3) Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.
(4) Excludes convictions for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008.
Evidence and Analysis Unit, Ministry of Justice
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