Scottish Government Ferret (and other Mustelinae) Register– Privacy Notice

1. Contact details of the Scottish Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Division for more information.

You can contact us at, or by writing to us at – Scottish Government
Animal Health & Welfare Division
P Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD
Or by phone on 0300 244 9874.

2. The purpose of the processing.

Any data, such as your contact details, ferret (and other Mustelinae – hereafter referred to as ‘ferret/s’) numbers and species, would be used if there was an animal disease outbreak affecting your premises or those in close proximity. Your data will be used to address any action required in a disease outbreak, including:

  • Contacting you, other premises and vets quickly
  • Identifying quickly animals at risk of disease
  • Assessing risk to human health
  • Coordinating, working quickly and efficiently to minimise the spread of the disease, together with other organisations
  • Providing you with animal/public health advice and information
  • Government will also use this information to determine the size and location of the kept ferret population in Scotland.

    In addition, Scottish Ministers also have powers to declare control areas if required for disease control purposes. For example, in the case of a SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent for COVID- 19) outbreak associated with ferrets or other Mustelinae in Scotland.

    3. Lawful basis for processing your data

    The lawful basis for processing your data is Article 6 (e) of the General Data Protection Regulation, “processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest” and this is based upon the need to protect public health in accordance with the Zoonoses Amendment (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Order 2021.

    For more information see animal-owners/pages/overview/

    Who will we share your data with and why?

    Your data may be shared with any of the following organisations, but only to help deal with an outbreak of animal disease, whether suspected or confirmed, and with the aim of keeping ferret keepers informed, and public health protected:

  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and their agents
  • Local authorities
  • Public Health Agencies
  • Will the data be transferred to any other country or international organisation?


    6. Data Retention

    Data will be retained according to requirements in legislation, particularly, Ltd. (ScotEID) will operate in alignment with the Scottish Government’s responsibilities under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 to maintain a Records Management Plan approved by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

    You have the right to request for your personal data to be erased from this register. Your request will be approved unless the data is necessary for public or animal health purposes and its retention serves in the public interest. You will be informed of the outcome of your request within 30 days.

    Keepers will be asked to review and confirm their data on an annual basis. If keepers do not confirm, their data it will be erased.

    It is Government’s intention to introduce legislation which will make registration compulsory for keepers of a certain number of ferrets and other Mustelinae (threshold not yet determined). Should this happen your data will automatically transfer over to the new compulsory system, when it goes live. For those whose number of ferrets is below the threshold, their data will also transfer over, but their registration is still voluntary.

    7. How will the data be transferred between organisations?

    APHA, ScotEID and the Scottish Government will have access to all data held in the register. APHA will share data on a need-to-know basis by eRDM Connect secure email system, or through an alternative secure communication method, with public health agencies and local authorities if required in the case of a disease outbreak. Any physical copies would be destroyed after use.

    8. Where will the data be stored and what security arrangements will there be for the data?

    Data would be stored in the secure ScotEID electronic Ferret Register on a distributed ledger basis. This system is secured through a two-factor authentication process and your data can only be viewed by organisations named in this document and yourself.

    9. Who will have access to the data and why?

    You would voluntarily share your contacts details, number of ferrets, ferret location/s, species of ferret and main reason for keeping ferrets with the Scottish Government and with APHA to help with disease control. Data would be shared with public health agencies on a need-to- know basis in the case of a disease outbreak

    Any information provided by you would be on a voluntary basis. In the event of any disease outbreak, you may be contacted so that you can be provided with information, advice or to advise you of disease prevention measures.