Animal Liberation Tasmania resoundingly condemns the revelations that Tassal and Huon Aquaculture have been utilising beanbag shot and underwater “crackers” to deter seals from fish pens.

“This is big industry waging war on Tasmania’s wildlife; we have read the reports of seals being blinded and deafened by these devices and are astonished they have been permitted by DPIPWE. This is in addition to the admitted fatal shooting of seals.” -Kristy Alger, ALT spokesperson

The organisation is calling upon RSPCA Australia to revoke or suspend their “higher welfare” accreditation of Huon Aquaculture salmon produced in the south of the state.

“When it was announced that Huon Aquaculture were to receive the tick of approval it was explicitly stated that consumers could be assured that the products they were purchasing were ‘farmed humanely.’ Yet here we have revelations that seals are being deliberately maimed through the usage of deterrents that even the CEO of RSPCA Tasmania says are unacceptable. RSPCA Australia have a duty to respond accordingly.” -Kristy Alger

Beanbag shots are a plastic shot cartridge containing a fabric bag filled with hard pellets, and “crackers” are an underwater acoustic explosive that sends out a shock wave causing extreme discomfort to the animal.

“Besides the animal welfare questions surrounding the usage of these devices there are also environmental concerns due to plastics and non-biodegradable debris entering the environment.” -Kristy Alger

Animal Liberation Tasmania support Malcolm Caulfield in calling for an independent investigation into the usage of such ammunition against seals.