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Dogs – Kennelling (R009421)

 Freedom of Information: Dogs – Kennelling (R009421)

Thank you for your e-mail of 6 January 2014 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek the following information:
  1. “How many dogs are currently being held in secure kennels by the Crown pending the outcome of legal proceedings? If possible, please provide details of which local authority area these animals are currently being housed”
  2. “What are the breeds of the dogs currently being housed? If it is not possible to provide them all, please provide a sample”
  3. “How much has been spent by the Crown in housing these animals since 2010? Please break down the amount spent by each financial year”
  4. “How many dogs have been destroyed by order of the Crown since 2010? Please provide a sample of the breeds destroyed & if possible which local authority area it occurred in”

Before addressing each of the points which you have raised it may assist you to explain that, in general, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) will only arrange for a dog to be kennelled when they pose a danger to public safety and should be destroyed or where they will pose a risk to public safety if they remain under the control of an accused who should be disqualified from dog ownership.

With the exception of cases proceeding under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, all decisions to kennel a dog pending trial must be made by Crown Counsel. Crown Counsel are the senior, independent lawyers who act on behalf of the Lord Advocate in the most serious cases.

To ensure the kennelling cost of retaining dogs seized are minimised and to reduce the risk of danger to kennel staff, the Lord Advocate has instructed that the police report cases where dogs have been seized with the same degree of urgency as custody cases, that early pleading and trial diets should be sought from the Sheriff Clerk and that such cases be afforded high priority. 

I have considered each point of your request below.

1. Details of the number of dogs being held in kennels by COPFS on 28 January 2015 has been provided at Annex A.

It may assist to explain that 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 prosecution purposes.  The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes. 

As such, details of which local authority area a dog is being held in is not recorded by COPFS. I have, however, outlined which Procurator Fiscal’s Office is dealing with the criminal case that each dog’s detention relates to. 

2. The requested information has been provided at Annex A.

3. The COPFS Finance Department only records the total amount spent each year on kennelling costs. It is therefore possible that this will include the cost of kennelling other animals. The total amount spent by COPFS on kennelling costs since 2010 has been provided at Annex B.

4. While the Procurator Fiscal may make a motion for a destruction order to be granted, it is ultimately a decision for the court whether to grant such an order. 

Details of whether or not a destruction order was granted in a particular case is not information which is recorded on the COPFS Electronic Case Management system. As such, it is not possible to conduct a search of the electronic system for such cases. To provide the information that you have requested we would have to conduct a manual search of all offences reported to COPFS which could potentially have resulted in a destruction order being granted by the court. Section 1(1) of FOISA Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 does not oblige a Scottish public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request exceeds a specified financial threshold, which is currently £600.  We estimate that due to the volume of cases, checking all such cases to comply with this request would exceed the £600 threshold.

I am sorry that I cannot be of more assistance. You may wish to refer this part of your request to the Scottish Court Service as they are likely to hold details of the number of destruction orders that have been granted by the court since 2010. 

Annex A

Details of the number of dogs being held in kennels by COPFS on 28 January 2015

PF Office

Breed of Dog



American Bulldog



Petterdale Terrier



Pit Bull / Bulldog Crossbreed



Rottweiler / Bullmastiff Crossbreed



Staffordshire Bull Terrier



Staffordshire Bull Terrier






American Bulldog



American Bulldog



Japanese Akita



Japanese Akita



Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Annex B

Total amount spent by COPFS on kennelling 

Total Cost









2014/15 *


* Up to 15/12/2014