WE continue to hear reports of cruelty towards animals and it would seem that despite our best efforts in reporting the cruel acts of individuals who torture animals in their care, there does not seem to be a curb in these activities.

Your headline, "He can't stop being cruel to animals" (Echo, Aug 15), referred to a man who, having been jailed for one of the worst examples of animal neglect in the region, ignored a lifetime ban on keeping animals and admitted causing further suffering.

He is still awaiting sentence, but whatever the outcome of the case effective prosecution must surely mean that a ban means just that.

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In recent years we have seen increasing prosecution by the authorities, but to some people it does not act as a deterrent. Cruelty in whatever form, whether it is towards animals or humans, cannot and should not be tolerated.

Those people who torture and abuse animals should be prevented from ever having the opportunity to keep them, but there hangs the problem. Abusers don't come with labels, so for those people selling animals there is a dilemma. Do we need a register of those who inflict cruelty on animals?

Bernie Walsh, Coxhoe, Durham.