A SHETLAND salmon farm has suspended two managers prior to their appearance in court next month on charges of killing seals unlawfully.
The Meridian Salmon Group said it will also be carrying out its own internal investigation into allegations that regional manager Graham McNally and site manager Ross Morrison used illegal methods to kill seals at the Hoganess fish farm, near Walls, on Shetland’s west side.
The charges follow an investigation by the animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA into seal deaths in the area.
Last year the SSPCA brought a case against the same two men for animal cruelty after 20,000 fish died suddenly in August 2010 following a bathing treatment for sea lice.
The case was dropped after the Scottish government refused to pursue the matter, even though highly toxic horse and sheep dip were found on the site.
This week Meridian Salmon managing director Mark Warrington confirmed that two men had been suspended from work at the Hoganess salmon farm until further notice and that an internal investigation will take place in line with company policy.
Meridian Salmon hit the headlines when 12 salmon cages containing 300,000 fully grown fish worth £3 million were washed out to sea by hurricane force gales on Christmas Day last year.
Eight of the cages were recovered after three weeks, with plans in place to try and recover the remaining four cages from the seabed around 60 miles east of Shetland.
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