I am not persuaded by Mr Young. I have not been alive for 43 years, never mind been a member of the Conservative party for that length of time. I congratulate John in that regard; indeed, it is one of his activities that we will encourage.
The situation today is exactly the same as it was at the Rural Development Committee. No arguments have been advanced in support of this draconian criminal provision, apart from the comment that the matter is serious; indeed, it is treated more seriously than many drugs-related offences. I fully accept the minister's legitimate concerns about the public purse. I will raise that matter when I speak to another amendment, because I am concerned that the Executive and the Crown Office will pass on the cost of keeping dogs that have been seized to people who are prosecuted.
The safeguard outlined in amendment 15 is necessary for those who have their dogs taken away; those dogs should not be put down without a by-your-leave.
I will press amendment 13 and amendment 15.