Professional marksmen are being hired to cut down the grey seal population of the Farne Islands.
Professional marksmen are being hired to cut down the grey seal population of the Farne Islands. Britain's national Trust, owners of the Islands, say the cull is necessary to preserve the future of the seal colony there.
Over 2000 breeding cows, their pups and an additional 250 bulls are expected to be eradicated during the shooting, which will be done from a range of a hundred yards (91 metres). The marksmen say they will take care that no pups will be left orphaned.
The National Trust claim the cull is essential because the France Islands - in the North Sea off the coast of England's far-northern county of Northumberland - have become grossly overpopulated with seals. Overcrowding has reached the point where food is scarce. disease is becoming rife, and bad-tempered adults are salvaging newly born pups.
Even so, the proposed shootings have aroused widespread protests from Britain's wild animal Conservationists.
SYNOPSIS: The peaceful Farne Islands, off England's Northumberland coast, have for years been one of the most popular breeding grounds of the grey seal. But during the nineteen-sixties, the seal population has been building up to an intolerably high level. and now Britain's National Trust owners of the Islands, have been forced to take a grim course of action to solve the problem. Professional marksmen are being hired to shoot over two-thousand cow-seals and pups, plus a further two-hundred-and-fifty bulls.
During the shooting, care is to be taken to ensure that only entire families are wiped out. The gunmen are under instructions to make sure where possible not to leave any pups orphaned. Either way, as things stand at present, death is the only prospect for many of the baby seals. Severe overcrowding has been causing disease, and prompting adult seals to turn aggressive end kill their own young.
During the past fifteen years, the birth of calves have almost trebled. The National Trust say this birth-rate will eventually lead to the destruction of all seal life on the Islands...thus the necessity for the cull. Nevertheless, the news of the shootings has prompted widespread protest from British animal-lovers.