Edinburgh Zoo Pandas return to China: EIR release

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

Information requested

Any communications, including attached documents, meeting handouts, memos, briefings to ministers, notes, minutes, or OneNote memos, related to the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo and plans to return them to China since the start of 2023.


I attach a copy of all the information you requested.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested 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.

An exception under regulation 10(5) (f) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. This is because disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial prejudice to the interests of a person who provided information voluntarily to the authority. 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. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of interest in the pandas in Edinburgh zoo. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring the interests of third parties who provide information voluntarily are taken into consideration.

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.

FOI 202300351147 - Information Released - Document


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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