Were shot seals swept ashore at Carradale?

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Carradale villagers are up in arms after two seals they suspect had been shot were washed up on the coast.

A pup was found on the rocks on Shore Road with what a man, who does not want to be identified, claims is a catastrophic abdomen wound.

He said: ‘I’m told by a local hunter and gun owner it is suggestive of a high-velocity rifle shot.’

An adult seal was found on Port Righ beach the same day with a single hole in the head which the same man and a woman claim is due to it being shot.

A post on Carradale Bay Holiday Park’s social media page said: ‘I came across the distressing sight while out enjoying a walk.

‘Thank goodness I had no children with me as I cannot get the vision out of my mind. I hate to think what impact it would have had to a child.

‘I have the photos but wouldn’t dream of sharing as they are awful.

‘Sad times and not what our tourists would like to find.’

It is legal for salmon farms to shoot seals, providing they have the correct licence, issued by Marine Scotland, but is a practice which disturbs many people.

Marine Harvest (MH), which employs people across Kintyre, operates the salmon farm in Kilbrannan Sound north of Carradale and admitted shooting a seal on January 7.

MH business support manager Steve Bracken said: ‘One grey seal was shot at our Carradale farm on January 7 following repeated seal attacks in December and January.

‘We have seal deterrence measures in place at the farm, but they had not prevented the seal attacks and more than 3,000 fish had been killed.

‘We followed all the appropriate regulations governing the shooting of seals.

‘As required by law, we have notified the Scottish Government of the shooting.

‘We always regret having to resort to shooting a seal but in some cases it is unavoidable to protect our salmon.’

Mr Bracken added there was also shooting in the area on January 8. The shot mammal was a grey seal. The one at Port Righ beach appears to be a common seal, so it may have been shot by someone else.

Another member of the public, who did not want to be identified, claimed the Port Righ seal had not been shot and the hole in its head was caused by gulls pecking at its eye after it was washed up.

Marine Scotland officer Reid Anderson, based in Campbeltown, said anyone who suspects a seal has been shot should report it to his office on 03002 448690.

The seal found on Port Righ beach. NO_c03seal01_head_wound