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Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 (R012471)

Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 (R012471)

Thank you for your request dated 24 February 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

“Where persons were proceeded against for offences under the sections of the Act specified below, how many were the subjects of reports submitted by: the police, the Scottish SPCA, a local authority (ideally specifying the authority in question), or any other reporting agency (ideally specifying the agency) in the years 2013 -14 and 2014 - 15?

The relevant sections are: Section 19 (1); Section 19(2); Section 19(3); Section 20(1)(A);Section 20(1)(B; Section 20(2);Section 20 (3); Section 21; Section 23(1)(A); Section 23(1)(B); Section 23(2); Section 23(3);Section 23(4); Section 24; Section 25(7); Section 29(1)(A)(B); Section 29(2)(A) & (B); Section 40(11) 

Additionally, where persons were convicted of offences under these sections, how many were the subjects of reports submitted by the agencies referred to above, in the years 2013 - 14 and 2014 - 15?”

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service's case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes, ie to prepare court documentation; to send and receive electronic information regarding court appearances and results; to cite witnesses; to deal with issues relating to disclosure of information to the defence etc.

I attach herewith a table providing details of the number of charges which have been proceeded with, the outcome of the charges proceeded with and which agency reported those charges.  Please be aware that the information provided relates to the number of charges where proceedings were raised and one or more charges may relate to any one animal, incident or person.  It follows that an acquittal on a particular charge may not indicate that a person was acquitted of offending.  Please also note that there are no charges where proceedings were raised recorded under Sections 20(1)(b); 20(3); 21; 23(3); and 23(4) for the period requested.

I am unable to provide a further breakdown of individual reporting authorities/agencies as I have concluded that this information as requested by you is exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of the FOISA.  This exemption applies because the numbers are small enough that to release this information could lead to the identification of the persons involved.  This information would be personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.