Saturday, 28 June 2014

New rules introduced to protect Scottish seals

Those found guilty of harassing a seal in Scotland could face a jail sentence of up to six months, or a fine of up £5,000, under new rules designed to protect the seals once they come ashore.

Under the draft order, it will be an offence from 30 September to intentionally or recklessly harass the animals within the designated areas.

There are nearly 200 protected sites around Scotland’s coastline where seals come ashore to rest, breed or moult.

Together with the existing network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for seals, they will protect at least half of Scotland’s grey and common (or harbour) seals.

Scottish environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Seals are one of Scotland’s most iconic species and that is why we have introduced a raft of new measures to better protect them.

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