Discussions with Mark Bird about licensing Scotland's only unregulated greyhound track: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

GBGB CEO, Mark Bird said: “We share a common goal with SAWC of protecting and promoting greyhound welfare in Scotland. But we are clear that strong and effective regulation is the only way to do this successfully and have therefore been working with Holyrood officials to support Scotland’s one unregulated track to be licensed."

Please provide the following information.

  1. Dates of when meetings with either Mr Bird or representatives of the GBGB have taken place.
  2. Minutes and any actions from the meetings.
  3. Names and titles of all those attending the meetings.
  4. Details of any MSPs /Holyrood Officials present.

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information(Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore, we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

The reason why that exception applies is because under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to (and clearly can't) provide information which it does not hold. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because the information that you request relates to official business conducted by elected members of the Scottish Parliament (we assume this is what you mean by "Holyrood"), and accordingly it is the Parliament that holds the official record of all meetings, attendees, agreed actions etc.

Notwithstanding the above, I have, for openness and transparency, attached with this reply, the notes of two virtual meetings between the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC) and representatives of the GBGB that Scottish Government Civil Servants did attend (the Scottish Government provides the secretariat support to the SAWC).

In order to obtain the information you seek, I would advise that you contact the Scottish Parliament as it should hold the information you are seeking, although you may be able to find much of what you have requested from a search of the official record on the Parliament's web site.

Requesting information | Scottish Parliament Website

To make your request, complete an online request form

Email: foi.officer@parliament.scot

Phone: 0131 348 5281

By post:

The Information Management and Governance Team
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

202300349129_Minutes - SAWC and GBGB Meeting


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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