Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), has said "it will be shocking to many people to learn" that despite seals having protected status they can still be shot under licence to protect the salmon industry.
New figures from the Scottish government have revealed that 110 seals have been shot so far this year.
It will be shocking to many people to learn that despite these seals having protected status, they can still be shot under licence if someone considers them a pest to salmon farms. In reality, there are plenty of non-lethal measures available to deter seals and we encourage their use.
We should be protecting our British wildlife, not allowing some animals to be shot because of human commercial activities in the seals’ natural habitat. Many people enjoy the spectacle of seeing seals around our coastline and will be saddened to hear that more than 100 seals in Scotland have been shot so far this year.
Because shooting is permitted all year round dependent pups are left to starve if their mothers are shot, says charity.
The RSPCA has outlined in detail its policy on the shooting of seals that attack salmon stocks "as an absolute last resort".
The RSPCA is being criticised over its new welfare standards which permit salmon farmers to kill seals that attack fish stocks.