- 5 Jul 2019
Date received: 23 May 2019
Date responded: 20 Jun 2019
I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) in which you asked for information on Piscine Reovirus (PRV) and Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) since 1 January 2018, to include:
Data on sampling and testing for Piscine Reovirus (PRV) and Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in farmed salmon, seawater and processing plant effluent (and any other sampling and testing).
How many samples of farmed salmon and water samples have been tested for Piscine Reovirus (PRV) and Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI).
Any photos, emails, letters, copies of scientific papers and other information to and from the Marine Laboratory, salmon farming companies, veterinarians (e.g. Fish Vet Group), other Governments and other parties in relation to Piscine Reovirus (PRV) and Heart & Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI).
I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.
In the original response, to your request for information, it was stipulated that commercial testing results related to samples submitted from third parties and from the records held by Marine Scotland Science they cannot be linked to any particular source. This comment was made in relation to PRV samples, and whilst it is true in the main it does not relate to two of the sample submissions made. In this case, two of the samples were received directly from The Scottish Salmon Company. In all of the cases, we are unable to identify sites or specific sources of the samples received. In the course of my review I have considered the scope of this part of your request and I am satisfied that all of the information held has been provided to you in our response to part one of your request.
In relation to the second part of your request in which you have asked how many samples of farmed salmon and water samples have been tested for PRV and HSMI. In our response we gave you data which would allow you to make calculations from the information provided, or that which is publically available. However, I acknowledge that we should have advised you that we do not hold the total number of samples and therefore should have notified you that regulation 10(4)(a) applies to this part of your request.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because we have no business reason to record this information
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the level of testing of farmed salmon and water samples for PRV and HSMI, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House