Ruskell hits out at Ministers over attempt to exempt salmon farming industry from US seal killing ban

Mark Ruskell MSP, Food & Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has hit out at Scottish Ministers' "desperate attempt" at weakening wildlife protections to protect the salmon farming industry, which faces a ban on exports to the United States.

The Sunday Herald yesterday (25 Mar) revealed that the Scottish Government has failed in an attempt to exempt the industry from US rules prohibiting the killing of seals.

Mark Ruskell challenged Scottish Ministers in April last year over the potential threat to Scotland's food economy from the exports ban, and raised it again with regulators in parliament last month.

Over 800 seals have been killed by Scottish fish farmers since 2011.

Mr Ruskell said:

"I'm pleased the Scottish Government's secret lobbying of Trump's administration to weaken protection for seals has failed. This was a desperate attempt to prop up the bad practice of an industry which is failing in its responsibilities to protect the environment.

"The control of seals by slaughter is uneccessary. If the government wants to avoid the collapse of a huge market for Scottish salmon, it must change the law to ban the intentional killing of seals by fish farms."