Julia Horton highlights another aspect of secret Scotland in her article on the refusal of government department Marine Scotland to identify sites where licensed seal shooting takes place (“Seal cull kept secret after fears protesters will target marksmen”, 24 September).
My Freedom of Information request for details of when and how many seals have been shot by specific area was refused.
I did not ask for the names of those doing the shooting, just when and where. I already have details and photographs of some of the people doing the shooting.
What I want to do is compare eyewitness accounts of shootings against official returns made by the shooters to the Scottish Government, which does not monitor seal shooting and takes as fact the numbers recorded in the returns made by the people doing the shooting.
Sadly, as we know from the audit of politicians’ expenses sheets, not everyone is honest.
In a situation as controversial and sensitive as this, it would make sense for the government to monitor closely the shooting using either Marine Scotland employees or by paying the SSPCA to provide independent inspectors.
Until it does that, it is abusing its powers by refusing to release the information needed to check the accuracy of at least some of the figures they quote as “official” for the numbers of seals being shot and killed by fishery and aquacultural interests.
John F Robins
Save Our Seals Fund