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40,000 campaigners request "emergency" inspections of salmon farms

Atlantic Salmon Regulations +3 more

Campaigners are due to deliver a 40,000-signature petition to Marine Scotland today that demands "emergency" inspections of all salmon farming operations.

Campaigners from consumer group SumOfUs will deliver the petition, which warns of a "surge of deaths" over the summer and cites evidence of serious welfare abuses at some of Scotland's salmon farms.

The salmon sector say they face "thousands" of inspections a year

According to the petition: “We can’t afford to keep waiting, especially with the summer sea warming up making disease levels rise. Right now, no one really knows the extent of the problems in the industry, but together, we can push the Scottish government to take urgent action. Starting with immediate emergency inspections of the country’s salmon farms.”

Marine Scotland carried out an emergency inspection at a fish farm in Loch Shieldaig run by The Scottish Salmon Company last month following fish welfare concerns raised by salmon campaigners, who filmed conditions at that farm. However, in October, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing admitted in parliamentary questions that there had been only two unannounced site inspections of fish farms that year.

However, a statement published by the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation today notes that: “Heavily regulated and inspected over 1,000 times a year Scotland's salmon farmers are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in animal welfare, technology and people to ensure they produce the healthiest, high quality fish.”