Ministerial briefing for RAINE Committee: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

government briefings provided to Mairi Gougeon and Mairi McAllan for the RAINE committee on Wednesday 14 December 2023.


I attach a copy of some of the information you requested.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Parliament website. The speaking notes read out by the minister during Stage 2 debates and the official transcripts can be found at Stage 2 | Scottish Parliament Website. Links to ministerial and stakeholder correspondence and/or remarks made during Stage 1 and the RAINE Committee report quoted in the briefing notes can be found on the Scottish Parliament Bill pages - Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill – Bills (proposed laws) – Scottish Parliament | Scottish Parliament Website. Lord Bonomy's Report of the Review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 - ( and the Scottish Government consultation and analysis The use of dogs to control foxes and other wild mammals in  Scotland - Scottish Government - Citizen Space ( and 3. Limit on the number of dogs used to flush wild mammals (Q1 to Q3) - Hunting with dogs: consultation analysis -  ( were also quoted in the briefing notes. Copies of other documents such as the copy of the draft Bill and explanatory notes from these pages were included in the briefing for Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Section 17 - information not held applies here. The reason we don't have the information is that a ministerial briefing was not required for agenda item Seed (Equivalence of Countries)(Amendment)(Scotland) Regulations 2022 at the RAINE committee.

Exemptions under sections 30(b)(i) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested. Section 30(b)(i) the substantial inhibition to free and frank provision of advice applies to some the briefing notes provided to the minister. This exemption allows internal communication between officials and Ministers to take place to inform policy and quality decision making and ensure advice provided is robust and fully considered. 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. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of the interest in open and transparent government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in topics discussed at preliminary stages of consideration when private space to discuss is essential.

Section 38(1)(b) third party personal data applies because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception is not subject to the public interest test, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing

the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202300336721 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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