Headless Seals Washed Up on Beaches 'Fault of Fishermen'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Bramhill

THE bodies of seven seals - some of them apparently beheaded - have been found on beaches in Donegal in what has been called an 'act of senseless cruelty'.

Disgruntled fishermen are suspected after six grey seal corpses were found on a beach near Rosbeg and another at nearby Narin beach.

Three more - two adults and a pup - were found at Tramore beach in Co. Waterford, while a dead dolphin was discovered on the same strand.

There are unconfirmed reports that two more were beheaded in incidents in Co. Clare and Co. Wexford.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary yesterday confirmed that gardai had been notified and efforts were being made to organise autopsies in the Veterinary Hospital in UCD. Seals have been protected by law since 1914.

Seal Sanctuary spokesman Pauline Beades, calling it one of the saddest days in the charity's recent history, speculated that commercial fishermen, who have called for a seal cull to protect dwindling fish stocks, were responsible.

But she insisted fishermen were 'misguided' to blame seals for destroying their livelihoods. …