from Brian Simpson, chief executive, Scottish Quality Salmon
Sir; The protest against farmed salmon outside supermarkets organised by Bruce Sandison (The Grocer, October 26, p61) would truly appear to have been a non-event. SQS noted very little impact with most of the supermarkets reporting no activity.
What leafleting there was carried out by the fringe Farm Salmon Protest Group was yet another ill-informed attempt to damage the livelihoods of thousands of people in Scotland in order to pursue its own outdated vendetta.
This group totally ignores the positive achievements of the Scottish salmon industry in recent years.
We have been working with the four major wild salmon organisations in Scotland and the Scottish Executive to protect the long-term future of both wild and farmed salmon. The Salmon & Trout Association, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, Scottish Anglers' National Association and the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards have highlighted the increasing degree of co-operation between salmon farmers and wild fish interests.
Both groups, despite apparent differences, have been working together successfully on initiatives including the development of area management groups up and down the west coast of Scotland establishing mutually agreeable solutions for each loch, where fishery managers and salmon farmers sit down together to establish mutually agreeable solutions for each loch.
The protestors' leaflet appeared designed to spread alarm and mistrust among consumers about salmon farming practices in Scotland. However, every so-called fact' in it was wrong.
Take the claim that Intensively farmed fish need drugs and medication to keep them alive'. Not true. Fish health and welfare is of paramount importance to the farmer. As with any farmed animal they may require treatment from time to time. All veterinary medicines used in the treatment of farmed salmon in Scotland must be properly approved for the purpose and can only be administered under prescription by a practising vet.