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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 10:01 GMT
Fishing leader disputes rats risk
Grounded trawler, the Spinningdale
The trawler got into difficulty in bad weather last Friday
A trawler which ran aground on a remote island is unlikely to have carried rats, according to a fishing leader.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is assessing whether rodents escaped the Spinningdale on to Hirta, the main island of St Kilda.

Duncan MacInnes, of the Western Isles Fishermen's Organisation, said the industry did not tolerate rats aboard fishing vessels.

He added that boats must meet strict hygiene and safety regulations.

'Public funds'

Mr MacInnes said: "I have been representing fishermen and have been involved in the fishing industry for over 30 years and I have never seen a rat aboard a vessel."

NTS, which owns St Kilda, previously said it had a responsibility to investigate the risk posed by the wrecked trawler.

A spokesman added: "This work is wholly funded by the National Trust for Scotland charity and has no impact whatsoever on public funds."

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