The version of Hirta Sheep (Annex lI): EIR release

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

Information requested

You asked for clarification and explanation on the following points with regard to additional information released under EIR 202100253172 that is currently at appeal with the Scottish Information Commissioner.

1. The version of Hirta Sheep (Annex lI) in the August release is different to the form supplied by UNESCO to DCMS (DCMS Ref: FOI2023/08886). What was the source of SG’s version?

2. Although the August release includes an email from DCMS to SG (Thread 2 – dated 19 November 2019) regarding the St Kilda sheep, there is no record of a return response. I append below a comparison between an SG email and DCMS’s final response to UNESCO that makes it seem inconceivable that there was no transfer of the verbatim passages from SG to DCMS and therefore I ask if you might check for such a communication.


1. The version of Hirta Sheep was converted from the original included in the UNESCO document into Word format to ensure that the data size of the document was manageable and easier to maintain the correct chronological flow of the additional information released.

2. Please find at Annex A the Scottish Government’s email reply to UK Government Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that included the queried lines. An exception under Regulation 11(2) of EIRS (personal information) does apply to this information.

Regulation 11(2)

Under The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, Section 11 (2) (3) Exceptions,- Where the environmental information requested includes personal data, the authority shall not make those personal data available otherwise than in accordance with Regulation 11. As the details are not that of the applicant the personal data has been redacted and replaced with [Redacted] - Section 11 (2) - Personal Information.

This exception applies because the information is personal data of a third person (i.e. staff names, phone numbers, etc.) and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles of the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation and regulation 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 202300385606 - Information Released - Annex A


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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