Hundreds of seals are secretly being shot along British coasts: Cubs left to starve after mothers are slaughtered to protect farmed fish stocks
Babies left to starve
Continue reading - Disturbing images
Mother seals shot by fishermen
The following article by the Daily Mail has an activist from the Seal Protection Action Group recommending customers to ask their retailer whether the salmon comes from areas where seals are shot. This advice is utterly ridiculous and useless, and one is left to wonder how truly committed is this organization to the welfare of the seals.
First of all, since the retailer is in the business of selling salmon, he may not have the time or the interest to investigate. And even if he tried to, are fishermen going to tell him the truth?
Second, much of the Scottish salmon is sold abroad, so foreign customers don't even know about the massacre of seals. And if they do, their retailer won't be able to give them a straight answer about the provenance of their fish.
Any serious attempt to stop this massacre should be done through effective methods applied at the source: the UK fishing industry itself.
DAILY MAIL - Hundreds of seals are being killed in British waters in order to protect stocks of salmon and other fish which are destined for supermarket shelves.
The seal cull even takes place during the animals' breeding season - meaning that some cubs are being left to fend for themselves when their mothers are shot dead.
Farmers say the seal killings are essential to stop the animals from destroying fish stocks off the coast of Scotland and northern England, but campaigners insist there are more humane methods of protecting fish.
Shot: A seal killed near Blackpool; it is legal to cull seals without a licence in England
HOW KILLING SEALS IS STILL LEGAL ACROSS THE UK
- Unlike in some countries, seals are not hunted in the UK for their skin, fur or meat.
- However, fishermen and farmer are allowed to kill seals which they believe are threatening fish stocks.
- In Scotland, they must get a licence which restricts the number of animals they can legally kill.
- But in the rest of Britain, there are no legal restrictions on culling seals, meaning people are free to do as they please
The practice of seal clubbing in Canada has long been regarded with revulsion around the world - but many Britons may be unaware that the animals are also being killed in the UK.
Supporters of the practice claim that seals threaten farmed salmon, wild fish around the coasts and fish which are kept for sporting purposes.
Figures from the Scottish government show that 205 seals were legally killed in Scottish waters last year by farmers, fishermen and angling firms.
Some campaigners suggest that the real number of dead seals is much higher, as the official figure only includes those which were recorded to the authorities by people who had previously obtained licences.
Fishermen have been given licences to kill more than 800 seals this year, although typically marksmen kill only around a quarter of the seals which can legally be culled.
Activists have called on consumers to more careful about buying Scottish salmon in supermarkets and fishmongers, encouraging them to investigate the origins of their fish.
'People who are horrified by what's happening in places like Norway and Scotland don't realise this is happening on their own doorstep,' said Andy Ottaway of the Seal Protection Action Group.
'The shooting tends to go on in remote locations, so it's not something most people tend to come across.
'It's very simple - ask your retailer before you buy Scottish salmon whether seals were shot in the production of that salmon. (REALLY????)
'Not every fish farmer is shooting seals, it's perfectly possible to protect fish without shooting seals.'
He insisted that there is no need to cull seals in order to keep them away from fish stocks, saying that acoustic deterrents and strong nets can protect salmon just as well.
Around three quarters of farms where seals are killed are certified by the RSPCA as 'Freedom Food' farms, Mr Ottaway added, saying that the animal protection charity should do more to crack down on the practice.
He also called on the Scottish government to toughen up its licensing regime, which states that seals should only be killed as a 'last resort'.
Mr Ottaway said: 'It's not the last resort if they're not using the best possible deterrents and the best possible nets.
'They recognise the value of seals as a tourist attraction, but have no problem with shooting them".
Because there are no restrictions on when farmers can kill seals if they have a licence, breeding mothers are likely to die, leaving their cubs unable to fend for themselves.
Outside Scotland, it is legal to kill seals without any need for a licence - meaning that there is no way of measuring exactly how many die every year.
The Scottish salmon industry, which produces annual export of £285million, insists that it is necessary to kill seals in order to protect farms.
Scott Landsburgh of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation told the Daily Mirror: 'We have championed deterrence techniques that are designed to keep seals away from our fish, and shooting is always last resort.
'When a determined seal attacks fish in our pens it can kill and damage large numbers and it is important that we do whatever we can to reduce the chances of this happening.'
A spokesman for the Scottish government said: 'Scottish seals are now better protected than ever before. Since 2011 it has been illegal in Scotland to shoot a seal except as a last resort under strict licensing conditions, and the number of seals shot under licence has more than halved since then.'
CANADA`S SHAME - THE KILLING FIELDS WHERE HALF A MILLION BABY SEALS ARE HIT WITH CLUBS OR ICE PICKS AND THEN SKINNED WHILE STILL ALIVE -
Aside from the FUR trade, killers also profit from the sale of seals` sexual organs, which are regarded as aphrodisiacs in ASIA