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PRESS RELEASE BY E-MAIL FROM: John F. Robins, Secretary, Save Our Seals Fund (SOSF), C/O Animal Concern, Post Office Box 5178, Dumbarton G82 5YJ. Tel: 01389-841-639, Mobile: 07721-605521. Fax: 0870-7060327.  SOSF is a recognised Scottish charity:  RCNo. SC025489. E-MAIL: sosf@jfrobins.force9.co.uk   website: http://www.saveoursealsfund.org/


The Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee are to consider Petition 01519 “Save Scotland’s Seals” at 11am on Tuesday June 17th.

Petitioner John Robins, Secretary of Save Our Seals Fund, will give a short address supporting the petition before answering questions put to him by Committee members.

The Petition, signed by 12,214 people, calls for a total ban on shooting seals by salmon farmers and fishery interests and for an end to the practise of netting wild salmon before they can return to their rivers to breed. The Scottish Government  has issued licenses allowing 1005 seals to be shot this year.

John Robins states;

“Our target for the petition was 5,000 signatures and I was amazed at the backing it received. Ricky Gervais tweeted his support and we gained over a thousand signatures overnight. I like to think that I will be able to persuade the Petitions Committee that action is needed to protect seals in Scottish waters.

There is a lot of misinformation on this subject, including information coming from Government Departments and Ministers, and I hope to prove this to the Committee. The reason given for issuing licenses to salmon farmers is to allow them to protect their stock yet it is impossible to do that properly by shooting seals. Seals are only supposed to be shot as a last resort yet in most cases shooting is one of the first options chosen by fish farmers.

I am very grateful for the chance to put the case for the seals to the Petitions Committee.” 

EDITORS NOTES: Full wording of the Petition is:  “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to stop issuing licences permitting salmon farming, salmon netting and salmon angling interests to shoot and kill seals in Scottish waters and instead require that salmon farmers either move their farms into on-shore tank systems or legally require marine salmon farmers to install and maintain the high-strength, high tension predator exclusion nets they require to meet their legal obligation under the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to protect their stock from the attention of predators. We further ask that the Scottish Parliament ask the Scottish Government to legislate to close down all salmon netting stations in Scottish waters thus allowing tens of thousands of Atlantic Salmon and seatrout to return to their native rivers to breed.”

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