€7k in reward money offered for information on seal deaths07/06/2012 - 16:51:20
Animal rights groups have offered rewards totalling up to €7,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of those responsible for the deaths of two seals in Kerry.
Gardaí are investigating after the heads of the two seals were found nailed to the signs of a wildlife and seal sanctuary in Dingle.
The seals' heads were mounted on plaques which were drilled into the sanctuary's signs.
Volunteers at Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary were alerted to the incident by a member of the public.
Dingle gardaí say the seals' heads have been removed and investigations are underway.
Animal rights group ARAN has offered a reward of up to €5,000, while Sea Shepherd Ireland has added €2,000 to the pot.
“Animal abusers are cowards, and we’re hoping this reward will apprehend those responsible for this most sickening act of animal abuse,” said ARAN spokesman Stephan Wymore.
“Those responsible take their issues out on the most defenceless beings available to them. History has shown that those who hurt and torture animals rarely stop there.”
The incident has also been condemned by the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), which said it was "horrified" by the killing and mutilation of the marine mammals.
"While accepting that seals have caused damage to fishing gear and loss of fish catches the IWT does not agree that culling these magnificent animals is the solution and this barbaric act only brings their argument into disrepute."
The IWT said this latest incident follows the slaughter of around 60 baby seals in this region in 2004 and the suspicious death earlier this year of seals and dolphins along the Waterford coast.
"No one has ever been charged with these illegal acts," the group said in statement.
"Time and again it has been shown that people can indiscriminately poison, shoot and dismember our wildlife safe in the knowledge that the law won’t touch them," IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said.
“It is high time that the Gardaí and our National Parks and Wildlife Service did their jobs in this regard and stop standing idly by as our heritage is dismantled.”
Read more: Severed seal heads nailed to Dingle sanctuary sign
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