12 JUN 2015

Seal Culling

I am an animal lover and passionate about animal welfare. I would very much prefer to see non-lethal means of controlling seals being developed to make culling unnecessary. As it currently stands, it is lawful to kill a seal if it is deemed to pose a threat to fishing operations (in accordance with the Conservation of Seals Act 1970). I am not aware of any current plans to change this position.

The fishing industry does argue, however, that culling is sometimes necessary to prevent serious damage to their operations. However, a representative of a Scottish aquaculture organisation recently stated that seals are only shot as a last resort. Its vital we strike a balance between the legitmiate concerns of the fishing industry and ensuring we maintain stronganimal welfare.

On a more positive note, the seal colony on Blakeney Point in Norfolk has seen record growth in recent years, and is thriving. Apparently there was some concern that the population growth there might lead to calls for a cull. However, the National Trust, which controls the property, has confirmed that there would be no need for this to be considered.

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