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Angling Trust Challenges Seal Shooting Death News Story

08.07.19

Grey Seal at Ravenscar geograph.org.uk 41544 Credit Mick Garratt (wiki free) x550px

The Angling Trust has written to the Metro newspaper following a story suggesting anglers were responsible for the shooting dead of two pregnant seals in Walton in Essex. The accusation that members of the public angling recreationally were responsible for the deaths is based on no evidence whatsoever.

In a letter to the editor of Metro.co.uk, the Angling Trust wrote: “We utterly condemn any kind of illegal shooting of seals or other marine mammals. We hope the police and those involved in investigating this incident are successful, and those responsible are found.

However, to point the finger at anglers, with no evidence whatsoever, is irresponsible and wrong. Anglers are often the most passionate when it comes to the care and protection of our marine environment, and for the wildlife you find there. Not only because they love their sport, but because they love our coastal habitats, our seas and our water environment too.  They, more than anyone else, know the importance and value of these precious places.”

The incident occurred in January but the findings of a post-mortem on the body of one of the seals has now been announced describing the wounds to the seals were consistent with the bullet from a .22 calibre rifle.

David Mitchell, Head of Marine, at the Angling Trust, said: “It shows poor editorial standards to accuse anglers for the death of these seals. Quite apart from there being no evidence whatsoever it is very damaging to the image of angling that members of the public should be carrying and using firearms in public spaces to deliberately kill protected marine mammals. We look forward to Metro.co.uk publishing our letter in full and issuing a correction and apology.”


More information:
  • The letter sent by the Angling Trust to The Metro can be viewed here.

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