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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Strathallan House
Castle Business Park

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write concerning an incident on Friday 13th September involving a Gogar Services vehicle (registration number DS15 CKF) carrying a load of salmon farm morts.

This vehicle shed its load on the road near Dalwhinnie. I'm not sure if this was on the A9 or the A889. It was reported on the Facebook page of a Mr. William Haughton who posted a video which you should be able to view on this link:

The comments posted include a claim that the incident occurred near the River Truim (a tributary of the Spey) and a driver saying there was still fish debris on the road on Saturday 14th September. The video shows vehicles driving through the morts and other comments are from drivers claiming their cars and motorbikes had fish debris sticking to them after driving through the morts.

One comment claims the lorry driver said he had required to brake suddenly and the dead salmon were thrown forward out of the rear of the lorry and over his cab. From the number of salmon covering both lanes of the road and the verges I would estimate that 1 tonne or more of fish were ejected from the lorry.

As you are no doubt aware morts from salmon farms are often classified as toxic waste as the fish may have been killed by a number of diseases including some which are highly infectious. They may also have been treated with toxic chemicals or dangerous pharmaceuticals before they died.

If you have not already done so I ask you to investigate this incident to determine whether the load did include diseased or otherwise contaminated fish and, if so, did the loss of those fish into the environment pose any risk to the public, especially those people who came into contact with the morts?

I am also concerned that wild fish stocks could have been put at risk if contaminated residues from the incident scene were washed into the River Truim or if debris carried away by vehicles which drove through the morts, entered any other waterways.

I also request that you determine whether or not this load was being carried legally and, if it was not, I ask you to prosecute those responsible.

I do not know what farm or farms these morts came from but I'm sure Gogar Services (contact details below) will be able to provide you with that information.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding this incident.

Yours faithfully,

John F. Robins,
Animal Concern

Gogar Services, East Gogar, Blairlogie, Stirlingshire FK9 5QB. 01259 728203