Seal panic

A wildfowler having had to shoot his dog when it was badly injured by a seal (your report, 10 October) must not be used to justify a seal cull.

Attacks like this are exceptionally rare and are most probably caused when an approaching dog is regarded as a threat by a seal. This is more likely to happen in the breeding season (October to December for greys) when new-born pups are on shore and a bull might be protecting a harem of females.

I’m afraid the quotes from Mrs Audrey Forbes-Clarke, the fishery manager for the Udny Trust, were extremely inflammatory.

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She claimed there has been an “explosion” in seal numbers since the local salmon netting station was closed. The fact is that seal numbers are recovering after decades of persecution by salmon netsmen who believed their wish to make large profits from salmon had priority over seals which catch fish to live.

Mrs Forbes-Clarke also claimed: “Children are paddling there in the ­summer and they will be fair game for the seals as well.” Absolute rubbish. There’s more chance of kids being eaten by the Loch Ness monster.

The only lesson to be learned in this case is to keep your dogs under control and out of the water when you are near breeding seals.

John F Robins

Save Our Seals Fund