Disclosure Details

Police horses - 846/14

Dated: 05 Nov 2014

Date of request:      12/10/14

Date of response:  05/11/14

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 12 October 2014 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

 I am writing to ask for your assistance with an FOI enquiry relating to the number of police horses that have put down either following or during active service with Northumbria Police.

I am specifically seeking information about the number of police horses that have been put down each year for the period between Jan 1st 2004 up until, and including, Friday 10th October 2014.

I would also like information on the reason for putting each of the horses down during this period, for example whether they were suffering from illness or injury or any alternative reason.

In addition, I would like to know how many horses have been 're-homed' following their service with Northumbria Police during this period - i.e. they may have been transferred to private ownership or placed in alternative jobs rather than being put down.

Finally, please could you advise on the method, or methods, used to put down the horses over this time period.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Northumberland Area Command of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Northumbria Police has had one horse put down in the last ten years.

The horse was suffering from chronic arthritis. Northumbria Police will only have horses put down in circumstances where to keep them alive would cause them greater suffering.

For the period 2004 -14 Northumbria Police has re-homed ten horses. Seven of which have gone to private homes the other three having been re-homed at the Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire.

The one horse that has been put down by Northumbria Police was done so by a single shot.


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103