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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 22:51 GMT
Seal killing concern at fish farm
Grey seal
The company said it shot seals to stop them attacking salmon cages
Scotland's leading fish farm operator has been accused of recklessly shooting seals near one of its sites at Kyle of Lochalsh in the west Highlands.

Since the 1970s, seals have been a protected species but can be shot, under licence, to protect fish farms.

There are concerns about the way Marine Harvest is carrying out the killings.

However, the company said it had to shoot the seals to stop them attacking the salmon cages and denied it was responsible for causing any woundings.

Marine Harvest, part of the multinational company Nutreco, owns fish farms up and down the west coast.

Humane killing

The concerns have been raised at its farm at Loch Alsh.

Local tour boat operator Nigel Smith said he had evidence that seals were not being shot cleanly, with animals left to die of their wounds.

He added that the killings were adversely affecting his wildlife tourist business.

The Salmon Farm Protest Group said the company should be employing marksmen to ensure the animals were killed as humanely as possible.

Probe into Orkney seal shootings
25 Sep 04 |  Scotland

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