Bizarre moment 'ZOMBIE' salmon are seen swimming with huge chunks of flesh missing | The Sun

THIS is the bizarre moment 'ZOMBIE' salmon were seen swimming with huge chunks of flesh missing.

Don Staniford captured the footage using a waterproof GoPro at Bakkafrost Scotland's Portree site on the Isle of Skye.

The animal welfare campaigner said the images were the "worst I've ever seen" and described the scenes as like "something out of a horror film".

The Highland Council and the Scottish Government have now launched an inquiry.

Mr Staniford, who runs the campaign group $camon $cotland, kayaked out to the site on June 28 and 29 this year.

During a 48-hour undercover mission, he lowered a camera mounted on a telescopic pole into the cage.

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He claims to have seen salmon swimming around with gouges to their flesh.

One was also missing a huge chunk from the middle of its back.

"The zombie salmon on show inside the salmon farm are like an X-rated horror film," Mr Staniford told the Daily Mirror.

"The horrific injuries inside Bakkafrost's Portree salmon farm were the worst I've ever witnessed."

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He continued: "Bakkafrost has either not installed proper anti-predator netting or they have not properly maintained the equipment – either way this is a clear cut case of welfare abuse. 

"If salmon farms cannot operate securely without breaching welfare legislation then they should be shut down immediately."

Mr Staniford believes the severe lesions witnessed were caused by a predator, such as seals, and demanded the firm take immediate action.

The firm was formerly called the Scottish Salmon Company but changed its name last year after being acquired by Faroese firm Bakkafrost in 2019.

A Bakkafrost Scotland spokesperson said: "Bakkafrost Scotland is committed to the welfare and health of our fish and the natural environment, both of which are intrinsically linked and represent the basis of responsible salmon farming. 

"We have just become aware of a film showing two fish which appear to have been attacked by seals, and which is suggested to have been taken at our Portree site.

"As with all farmers the health and welfare of our stock is of paramount importance, and a recent RSPCA inspection at the site did not flag any issues."

RSPCA Assured, which inspects farms across the UK, said it had looked into the incident and carried out an in-person visit after the concerns were raised.

A spokesperson said: "We are satisfied that the farm was doing everything they could to protect the welfare of both the salmon and any predators, such as seals, by trying to prevent any predators from entering the pen, as required by the RSPCA's standards."

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The charity added: "We're pleased to say that in this situation the farm took the correct course of action and was able to safely release the seal from the pen."

A Highland Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that a complaint has been received by Highland Council and we are liaising with our animal health partners in Scottish Government on an investigation."

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