Read in today’s Guardian: The RSPCA rescues one seal – and sanctions the killing of many others – The animal charity’s certification of fish farms knowing that they shoot ‘pests’ indicates a tragic descent into hypocrisy
Wed 19 Sep 2018 06.00 BSTLast modified on Wed 19 Sep 2018 06.28 BST
“Of the 280m animals whose production and slaughter it approves every year, salmon account for 200m. It accredits 63% of Scottish salmon farms.
The RSPCA won’t publish a list of the farms it has approved, citing a “contractual clause in the membership agreement”. But of the 24 people who sit on the advisory group for its assurance scheme (according to the most recent published list), 20 work for salmon farming companies. These companies include the four named in an investigation into seal shooting in 2013, by the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, as “the worst offenders”.
It insists that farms that want its accreditation and that are at high risk of predation by seals must have “acoustic deterrent devices in place where appropriate”. These make a loud noise intended to scare seals away. Unfortunately, they also cause pain and distress to dolphins, porpoises and whales, disrupting their behaviour and driving them out of their feeding grounds. These are by no means the only problems caused by salmon farms.