FOI reference: FOI/17/02664
Date received: 5 November 2017
Date responded: 5 December 2017
You asked for information on Slice (Emamectin benzoate) since 1 September 2017, to include:
- Any discussions with SSPO, Marine Harvest and other salmon farming companies; dialogue with Merck, SEPA, SNH, VMD, SAMS, SARF, the Scottish Parliament and any other references to Slice (Emamectin benzoate).
- Any data on the use of Slice (Emamectin benzoate).
- Any scientific research, benthic sampling, monitoring, non-compliance, residue testing/surveillance, chemical resistance work and other studies in relation to Slice (Emamectin benzoate).
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Please find enclosed a copy of the information requested. This includes a communication between the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) concering a compliants handling procedure relating to the use of SLICE.
Marine Scotland's Fish Health Inspectorate have a contractual agreement with the Veterinary Medincines Directorate to undertake sampling from farmed fish for residue testing. I can confirm that between the dates of 1 September and 5 November 2017 a total of 19 samples were taken from 10 sites, all samples tested negative for Avermectins (the analysis would have included the detection of Emamectin benzoate if present). Further details of this testing are attached.
In addition we may hold relevant information relating to the use of SLICE obtained through the Fish Health Inspectorate aquatic animal health surveillance programme. As you are aware the information obtained is published in line with our active publication plan and is available on the Scottish Government website at the following address: Marine Scotland's Fish Health Inspectorate - Case Information
While we try to provide information wherever possible, in this instance an exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested (this information is redacted from that supplied to you). The reasons why that exception applies are set out below.
Reasons for not providing information
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 Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.
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 Andrew's House