States Vet (FOI)
States Vet (FOI) Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 14 September 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With reference to the FOI Request States Vet (gov.je) (July 2021) concerning reports of animal abuse, cruelty or neglect made to the States vet and the response that no prosecutions occurred during this time - please could you update the spreadsheet to present day (August 2022) and include the additional information requested below?
The response states, "However, all reports are considered and actioned as appropriate in order to resolve situations, with education playing a major role."
Please indicate the time lapse between a welfare concern being received and the States vet attending [redacted]? In other words, how long between a report being received and the animal being relieved of its suffering (either by medication or euthanasia).
Please indicate whether on any occasion the States vet did not visit but sent a delegate on their behalf. Please indicate the vet qualifications of the delegated person.
Of the welfare concerns listed, please indicate which animals were visited by the States vet? And if not, why not?
Of the animals mentioned in the welfare concerns, although there were no prosecutions, please indicate which animals were found to be suffering, what they were suffering from (e.g. malnutrition, fly strike in the case of sheep, infected wounds) and had to receive medical attention (please indicate what type of intervention was required i.e. medical, nutrition and/or water) and please indicate which animals had to be euthanised?
Of the animals mentioned in the welfare concerns, please indicate which were informally removed or moved (with the owners' agreement).
Of the animals mentioned in the welfare concerns, please indicate which were unable to be located?
Of the animals mentioned in the welfare concerns, please indicate which complaints concern repeat offenders?
Please indicate the number and type of complaints made by abattoir staff, to whom they are made i.e. a line manager at Infrastructure to be passed on to the States vet or direct to the States vet and the findings of those complaints e.g., malnourishment, illness or injury plus the actions that arose from those findings e.g. a letter written to a registered keeper, a visit, a threat of prosecution.
Please indicate where complaints relate to animals from the same registered keeper.
On an annual basis in Jersey over the last ten years, how many complaints or reports of animal abuse, cruelty or neglect have been made to the States Vet? Of these, how many have led to prosecution both successfully and unsuccessfully?
If it is possible to distinguish between statistics for cases of domestic and non-domestic animals, please do so.
The attached spreadsheet details the number of welfare concerns per species the Government of Jersey has received per year, including the additional periods requested.
Animal welfare concerns 2011 to July 2022 (excel)
It should be noted that questions A to G relate to general animal welfare concerns and not those raised by the abattoir.
A, B and C
Officers from the Animal Health and Welfare (AHW) section aim to triage the welfare reports within 24 hours of receipt to determine the level of urgency and what action is required.
The States Vet is not required to attend all animal welfare investigations since Article 22 of the Animal Welfare (Jersey) Law 2004 allows the Minister to appoint suitable inspectors to act on behalf of the Government of Jersey as detailed below.
Article 22 Inspections
(1) The Minister may authorize, in writing, any veterinary surgeon or other person appearing to the Minister to have suitable experience relating to animal welfare to be an inspector for the purposes of this Law.
The workload to investigate any animal welfare concerns is shared between the authorised parties, therefore, a reason why the States Veterinary Officer (SVO) did not attend an investigation is not recorded and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
The Government of Jersey hold the details of all officers who are authorised to carry out investigations regarding welfare concerns, however, these are exempt from release under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
AHW maintain a spreadsheet to record information in relation to each welfare concern raised. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- A summary of the concern raised, and date notification received
- Details of any site visits including date, person attending, animals' condition and any actions required or those carried out
- Note of any suspected patterns.
The information requested is held within the welfare records, however, the systems are not configured in a way that will allow extraction of these and a manual search would be required.
It is estimated that it would take in excess of 12.5 working hours to locate and retrieve the data in reference to your request, therefore, Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied and this part of your request will not be processed further.
A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
It should be noted that animal welfare complaint records are destroyed after 3 years in accordance with the AHW's retention schedule. Therefore, information from earlier periods is not held and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
D, E, F and G
AHW do not maintain separate lists regarding the requested information, however, this is included within the welfare records for each individual case.
The systems are not configured in a way that will allow extraction of the details you have requested within 12.5 hours as detailed above, therefore Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
H and I
The abattoir can only operate when a vet is present as detailed in the following Freedom of Information response:
States Vet FOI (gov.je)
Any welfare concerns, identified by the abattoir team, are brought to the attention of the vet on duty to enable further inspections to be carried out.
Any valid concerns are recorded by the vet on duty and discussed with States Vet, along with any evidence gathered, to determine what action is required.
The following welfare concerns were extracted from digital data records held from April 2022:
- muscle bruising
- single overgrown horn
- torn ears where an ear tag has caught
- minor cuts
Traditionally, handwritten yearly diaries have been completed by the vet on duty in relation to the processing of an animal through the abattoir which would include any welfare concerns and any actions carried out.
A manual search of the diaries from 2011 would be required to locate the information you have requested in relation to welfare concerns and specific keepers.
It is estimated that it would take in excess of 12.5 working hours to locate this information. Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied and this part of your request will not be processed further.
Article 10 - Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding Information
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if –
(a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and
(b) the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.
Article 16 - A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive
(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.