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It might not be a bloodbath on the scale of the infamous Canadian seal cull, but seals in Scotland are being slaughtered, and some interests would like to kill more.
Fisheries get licences to shoot hundreds of grey seals a year, on the grounds the animals are taking too many fish, notably from fish farms, or facilitating their escape.
Fish farming interests have no right whatsoever to kill seals. Seals exist and they eat fish. They are also capable of chewing through farm nets. Their populations are not out of control because of the loss of natural predators and they do not need culled.
The answers to problems with seals are avoidance, such as barriers and repellents, or acceptance. If a fish farm cannot cope with the natural behaviour of local wildlife, then the business probably wasn’t genuinely viable in the first place.
Tell the Scottish government to stop issuing permits to kill grey seals.
We the undersigned ask that you stop issuing licences for the killing of grey seals. The species forms an essential part of ocean ecosystems and numbers certainly do not need to be reduced. While we understand that smaller businesses may be struggling, killing grey seals is not the solution.
Fish farms should not be killing seals at all. Such businesses have an obligation to work with the environment, not against it, and that includes not persecuting native animals. Granting licences for farms to shoot any local wildlife that happens to be annoying does not encourage best practices in the industry.
Wild fish stocks are indeed under a great deal of pressure, but the problem is not seals. It’s overfishing, along with pollution, climate change and habitat destruction. Improved marine conservation efforts would help to preserve and increase fish stocks far more effectively than shooting native wildlife
Please do not permit the killing of any more seals.
Thank you for your attention.