Publication - FOI/EIR release

Raptor deaths in the Conon Bridge area, toxicology data: EIR release

Published: 17 Dec 2018

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

Published:
17 Dec 2018
Raptor deaths in the Conon Bridge area, toxicology data: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03560  
Date received: 27 November 2018  
Date responded: 17 December 2018
 
Information requested

 

On 3rd June 2014 I requested the following data, which was dealt with as FOI 14 00941: 

"I am aware from press reports that your laboratories have been investigating the recent spate of approximately 22 raptor deaths in the Conon Bridge area. press reports have indicated that 14 of the birds have been confirmed as 'poisoned' or 'illegally poisoned' I am writing to you to ask for recorded toxicology data on the birds investigated from this incident, to include: 

  1. Species, sex, age if indicated
  2. Information on any pesticides or poisons identified in animal tissues from toxicology results
  3. Level detected of any pesticide or poison identified
  4. Any internal comments that may indicate a scientific view on whether any particular bird had died as a result of deliberate abuse or accidental poisoning, or whether the death had been allocated to any particular cause.
  5. Any data which indicates the laboratory or pathology results had been attributed to 'abuse' or any other cause. 

Release of this data was subsequently refused, and under review it was stated that: 

"I have carefully reviewed the remaining information in the scope of your request, and considered the exceptions applied to it, namely regulation 10(5)(b) (course of justice, ability to receive a fair trial or ability to conduct a criminal or disciplinary inquiry); and, regulation 10(4)(d) (material in the course of completion, unfinished documents, or incomplete data). I have concluded that reg 10(5)(b) was correctly applied because the police investigation is still ongoing and disclosing this information, which is a crucial part of the evidence, is likely to substantially prejudice that investigation. I note that Police Scotland were consulted on the original decision and their comments strongly supported the conclusion that further information on this incident should not be disclosed. I have concluded that regulation 10(4)(d) was also correctly applied because the laboratory report is still being actively worked on but has not yet been completed. 

I have also reconsidered the public interest test that applies to both of these exceptions. I agree with the conclusion that public interest in the facts of this incident is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that the police investigation and any subsequent prosecution is not jeopardised and that incomplete data is not released when it might misinform the public. " 

 

As we are now over 4 years from this original application and the event, it is my belief that sufficient time has now elapsed whereby the reasons for withholding release relied upon at the time can no longer exist. I am therefore formally applying once again for the release of this data under EIR regulations.

 
Response

 

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.

 

The data requested is presented in the table below and was derived from results determined by SASA and content of submission and post-mortem reports provided by SAC Consultancy Veterinary Services.

Species1

Age/Sex1

Conclusion

Tissue Analysed1

Aldicarb

mg/kg

Carbofuran

mg/kg

3-hydroxy carbofuran

mg/kg

Carbosulfan

mg/kg

Red kite

Juv. Female

Abuse

Liver

Stomach content

ND

1

0.2

5

ND

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Male

Abuse

Liver

Mouth content

0.1

9

0.07

10

ND

ND

ND

0.05

Red kite

Adult male

Abuse

Liver

Mouth content

0.3

1

ND

0.04

ND

ND

ND

ND

Buzzard

Adult male

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

0.1

20

0.1

8

0.02

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

2 yr old male

Abuse

Liver

Stomach content

0.01

2

0.1

70

0.05

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Adult female

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

16

0.04

45

ND

ND

ND

ND

Buzzard

Adult female

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

5

ND

1

ND

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Juv. Male

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

0.09

4

ND

5

ND

0.9

ND

ND

Buzzard

Juv. Male

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

0.7

0.07

2

0.1

0.06

ND

1

Red kite

Female

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

3

ND

4

ND

ND

ND

0.6

Red kite

Male

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

0.2

ND

5

ND

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Unknown

Abuse

Crop content

0.2

1

ND

ND

Red kite

Unknown

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

0.2

0.1

69

ND

0.2

ND

36

Buzzard

Juv. Female

Abuse

Liver

Mouth content

ND

0.1

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Unknown

Abuse

Liver

Crop content

ND

ND

ND

0.02

ND

ND

ND

ND

Red kite

Unknown

Abuse

Liver

Gizzard content

ND

0.05

0.7

3

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND = no residues detected

 
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