12 December, 2008
SHETLAND police today (Thursday) charged a second man in connection with the
slaughter of around 20 grey seal pups on a remote island in the North Sea.
Last week police charged a 47 year old fisherman with killing 18 seals on the
island of East Linga, about three miles east of Whalsay.
They interviewed a 44 year old man and said they were sending a report about
both men to the procurator fiscal.
Scottish Natural Heritage staff spotted two men acting suspiciously on East
Linga when they approached the island by boat to carry out their annual survey
of grey seal pups.
Police officers, SNH staff and local SSPCA officer Ron Patterson returned to the
island and found the carcasses of 18 seal pups. A further visit is understood to
have revealed even more dead seals, all of which appeared to have been clubbed
Grey seals are protected during the winter months between September and December
when the pups are born and lie for weeks until they moult and enter the sea to
fend for themselves.
According to SNH, Shetland has had a relatively stable population of about 3,500
grey seals for the past 30 years, while common seal number have declined
drastically in the past decade.
Environmentalists are calling for a tightening up of the legislation to protect
seals and have recently lobbied both the Scottish and UK governments on the