Animal Hunting / Culling promotion by SNH

Suzanne Kelly made this Freedom of Information request to Scottish Natural Heritage

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Scottish Natural Heritage,

SNH

1. List of all groups including but not limited to the Lowland Deer Network does SNH support, financially or otherwise which seek to promote hunting and culling activities? This includes activities labelled ‘management’ such as ‘deer management’ where hunting and culling is involved.

2. How many employees and / or consultants, part or full time, does SNH pay, reimburse or otherwise support who are involved in promoting hunting and culling activities? This includes activities labelled ‘management’ such as ‘deer management’ where hunting and culling is involved.

3. With regard to groups identified in No. 1 above and individuals identified in No. 2 above, please list total amount of financial support given to each identified entity/person in years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

4. Please provide all correspondence, whether internal or external (to include emails, letters, memos, file notes) that pertain to deer culling/hunting/management/poaching in Aberdeen City and Shire from January 2011 through December 2014 . This should include but not be limited to items that contain the words/search terms ‘deer management’ ‘Tree for Every Citizen’, ‘Tullos Hill’ ‘Ian Talboys’, ‘Chris Piper’ ‘C J Piper’ ‘Peter Leonard’’ and where individuals are given as search terms, any and all correspondence to and from these individuals should be included as well.

5. List of all groups does SNH support, financially or otherwise which seek to promote non-lethal animal population control activities?

6. How many employees and / or consultants, part or full time, does SNH pay, reimburse or otherwise support who are involved in promoting non-lethal animal population control activities? This includes activities labelled ‘management’ such as ‘deer management’ where hunting and culling is involved.

7. With regard to groups identified in No. 5 above and individuals identified in No. 6 above, please list total amount of financial support given to each identified entity/person in years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

8. List of all SNH employees and consultants (paid and unpaid) who are members of pro hunting, pro culling organisations, especially such organisations and individuals that have been identified in No. 1 and No. 2 above.

Yours faithfully,

Suzanne Kelly

FOI, Scottish Natural Heritage

Dear Ms Kelly,

Thank you for your information request. We will reply to you as soon as possible and in any case by 4 September.

Yours sincerely,

Rhoda Davidson
Information Officer

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FOI, Scottish Natural Heritage

Dear Ms Kelly,

Thank you for your information request about animal hunting / culling promotion by SNH. We have looked at your request in detail and at the moment some parts of your request are very broad in scope and cover a very large amount of information. At the moment we cannot fulfil your request because it is too wide ranging for us to be able to deal with.

I’m therefore getting in touch to ask if you can narrow the focus of parts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 of your request and provide us with more specific details of the information you are interested in? I’ve set out a summary of the areas of wildlife management work we undertake. Can I ask you to let me know which specific area of our work you are interested in? This additional detail will help us to target our searches for relevant information.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Yours sincerely,

Rhoda Davidson
Information officer

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The definition of wildlife management within SNH was agreed by our Board in 2011 and is the “deliberate and targeted intervention by people to change the population, structure or distribution of wild species, particularly terrestrial mammals and birds”.

As such, wildlife management covers a large cross section of SNH work ranging from species conservation, re-introductions/translocations, encouraging people to visit the outdoors and protecting habitats. It is also about shooting, country sports and resolving conflict.

In practice wildlife management refers to a range of actions including protecting wildlife; safeguarding their health and welfare, culling them to manage their numbers and their effect on habitats or to limit their spread; using them as resource, including for wildlife watching, sport or meat.

Wildlife management can include a mixture of lethal and non-lethal control within the same project. SNH further supports wildlife management activity in a number of ways. This support ranges from direct funding, provision of advice & training, funding partners who then sub-contract the practical delivery to describing and promoting work through SNH publications.

General areas where SNH contributes or supports lethal control in wildlife management include:

•Advice and support for the culling of red, roe, fallow, sika deer in the uplands and lowlands;
•Provision of advice and financial support to Deer Management Groups, individual framers, individual forestry companies, local authorities, environmental organisations and other government agencies;
•Advice and support for mink control;
•Advice and support for goose management;
•Advice and support on predator control such as gulls and crows for tern breeding, control of foxes to support capercaillie, control of predators for wader conservation;
•Advice and support on the removal of rats on islands for the conservation of seabirds; and
•Fulfilling licencing obligations under the Wildlife & Countryside Act etc.

Please note, this is not the full extensive list of wildlife management activity connected or supported by SNH where lethal control is used.

As would be assumed from such a broad area of work, the organisations and individuals that SNH deal with in connection with wildlife management where lethal or non-lethal control is used is vast and ranges from individuals (whether land owners, tenants or crofters) to organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Land and Estates, National Farmers Union (Scotland), British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, OneKind and Scottish Badgers.

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your reply. For the moment then, I will limit my scope to organisations you fund/support, and individuals you fund/support/employ which have a remit to kill deer species.

Perhaps you could first turn to your accounts, which will record your outgoings, and which no doubt are stored in electronic form. You will be able to generate a list of people / organisations paid by SNH. Looking for search terms such as 'deer' ' hunting' ' control' will help as a first step, and there are, I am sure, those in the SNH who are responsible for procuring deer culling services, and they will know what organisations are financially supported. Is your organigramme available online? I would like to see it, and would perhaps be able to focus on those parties whose work interests me.

I trust narrowing my scope to one species as a search term and suggesting a simple methodology will assist you in completing this request.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Kelly

FOI, Scottish Natural Heritage

Dear Ms Kelly,

Thank you for providing this clarification. We will process your request as soon as possible and in any case by the 28 September.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer Ryles
Information Officer

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Dear FOI,

I am keen to get my reply. The request was clarified as requested. In this day of electronic communication and electronic spreadsheets, I do not accept that identifying what bodies and individuals receive money from the SNH which promote deer hunting and culling should be difficult. Perhaps they could publish the entire list of groups and individuals they fund, and I could go through it myself? In any event, I believe the public have a right to know how much of their money is going on supporting killing deer, particularly in light of the non-lethal methods of population controls are often dismissed out of hand by SNH operatives and groups receiving SNH funding.

I will request an internal revivew unless information is received in a week.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Kelly

FOI, Scottish Natural Heritage

Dear Ms Kelly,

Thank you for your email. We are currently working on your request and will respond as soon as we can.

The time frame for public authorities to respond to requests is set out in the access to information legislation, in this case the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. Authorities have 20 working days from the date of receipt of requests to respond to them. In cases where applicants are asked to provide more details to enable Authorities to retrieve and collate information, the 20 working days begins from the date the additional details are received not from the date of the original request. This means SNH has until the 28 September to reply to your request. Please see page 17 of the Scottish Information Commissioner's booklet 'Your Right to Know' (link below) for information about this.

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/nmsru...

I apologise if this causes you any inconvenience.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer Ryles
Information Officer

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FOI, Scottish Natural Heritage

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    FOI Freedom of Information Request Suzanne Kelly Animal Hunting Culling Promotion by SNHl SNH Response A1751683.pdf

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    Suzanne kelly FOI request Sept 15 A1750521 A1750521 Redacted.pdf

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Dear Ms Kelly,

Please find attached our response to your request. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this response or any problems with the attached files.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer Ryles
Information Officer

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