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COPFS

Animal Health and Welfare Prosecutions (R009416)

Freedom of Information: Animal Health and Welfare Prosecutions (R009416)

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 January 2015 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA): 

“For the calendar year 2013, please provide figures in relation to the following questions:

1.       How many prosecution proceedings did you commence for offences named in the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006?
2.       How many prosecution proceedings did you commence for offences named in Regulation 11 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Regulations 2010?”

COPFS takes the prosecution of animal health and welfare cases very seriously. We are committed to providing a powerful and effective deterrent to those who commit crimes against wildlife.  In recognition of this commitment COPFS has a dedicated Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit which comprises of specialist prosecutors. 

COPFS uses a live operational case management system, specifically designed to receive criminal and death reports from the police and other specialist reporting agencies and to manage the cases for investigation and prosecution purposes.  The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes.  Due to the way the data is structured on our system, where we are asked to provide statistical information,  we  provide  this  by  number  of  charges  rather than  number of reports and for this reason you should note that:

  • the data should not be taken as reflecting the numbers of incidents, accused and/or cases; 
  • a single incident may give rise to several charges being reported and or prosecuted and may involve several accused;
  • the charges may, in effect, be duplicates or alternatives to take account of possible evidential issues in the case;
  • it is open for the prosecutor to combine multiple incidents and or charges into one charge at the point of raising proceedings or at the point of conviction without affecting the potential sentence.

The data contained in the table below includes the numbers of charges prosecuted in relation to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 during calendar year 2013.  I can confirm that there were no charges prosecuted during calendar year 2013 in relation to Regulation 11 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Regulations 2010.

 

Action taken re Accused

Action taken re Charge

Outcome

Jan to Dec 2013

Solemn

Court

Convicted

1





Not Convicted

3





Ongoing

1



Court Total



5



Not a Separate Charge



2

Solemn Total





7

Summary

Court

Convicted

160





Not Convicted

69





Ongoing

54





No Further Action

30



Court Total



313



Not a Separate Charge



30

Summary Total





343

Total





350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a Separate Charge
The total number of charges reported will also include charges where action was taken in relation to other charges reported in the case, for example, because the prosecutor took the view that an alternative charge was more appropriate or because details of the charge were included within the body of another charge for evidential reasons.