RSPCA hits back after criticism of ‘pest control’ seal culling comments

The RSPCA has hit back after one of its bosses was criticised for describing seal culling as “humane pest control”.

Assistant director of external affairs David Bowles got into a heated Twitter spat over the practice being carried out in Scotland.

He described arguments against culling as “simplistic” and speciesism “at its worst”, but critics hit out saying the charity should not support animals being killed.

The RSPCA said seals are not pests.

It said: “The RSPCA rescues and releases hundreds of seals every year and categorically does not regard them as pests.

“In fact, the RSPCA is the biggest rehabilitator of seals in England and Wales. No-one wants seals to be shot, least of all the RSPCA.

“We are working constantly to ensure salmon, which can feel pain, are protected from seals using non-lethal methods.

“We urgently want to see the number of seals being shot by farmers reduced to zero.”

It is an offence in Scotland to kill or injure the animals without a licence or for welfare reasons.

Conservation areas around the country are to be introduced, designed to protect Common Seal populations.

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