Date received: 8 July 2018
Date responded: 7 August 2018
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.
I would also like to inform you that Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate do not have a regulatory responsibility under the animal-by-product regulations, which cover the disposal of fish farm mortalities. Our regulations, specifically The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009, take effect in relation to this area where the presence of a listed disease has been detected. In such circumstances statutory control measures can be placed to ensure that the removal and disposal of mortalities is undertaken in a bio-secure manner to reduce the risk of disease spread. Again, this information and the results of any activities undertaken would be captured through our aquatic animal health surveillance programme.
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