Animal welfare and the management of the marine environment is devolved to the Scottish Government.
At present, the SNP Scottish Government protects seals by making it illegal to kill or injure a seal except under licence or for welfare reasons. Unregulated seal shooting – which was permitted under previous legislation – is outlawed.
The Scottish Government is very much alive to the need for protection of declining Common Seal populations. The current seal licensing system provides a well-regulated and monitored context for seal management in Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s website holds the most up to date information on licensing and if any seals have been shot using those licenses. These statistics can be accessed at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/SealLicensing