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Thousands of people have signed a petition opposing plans for an intensive caviar farm in Scotland.
According to animal rights charity PETA, the proposal submitted to Argyll and Bute Council, would ‘keep sturgeons confined in stressful, unnatural conditions before subjecting them to a cruel, bloody death’.
The facility would be the first of its kind in Scotland and only the second in the UK.
The charity has contacted the council, sending a petition with more than 5,000 signatures from members of the public urging the council to reject the plan.
A PETA spokesperson said: “In the petition, the group points out that in addition to causing cruelty to fish, a farm of this kind would likely have many negative effects on the local area, including increased traffic from goods vehicles and the obstruction of scenic views by new buildings.
“The generation of environmental pollutants such as ammonia could also potentially have a detrimental impact on wildlife.”
PETA Director, Elisa Allen, said: “Thousands of compassionate people have spoken, and Argyll and Bute Council should heed their concerns for animal welfare, the environment, and the health of the community.
“PETA is calling for the proposal to be rejected, sparing sturgeons immense suffering.”
According to the charity, in the wild, sturgeons live in open rivers and migrate vast distances upstream to breed.
A spokesperson added: “On commercial fish farms, they’re confined to tiny, severely crowded tanks, where they have no option but to swim in endless circles.
“Deprived of the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour, they’re highly susceptible to stress and aggression.
“Many also sustain physical injuries, such as damage to their tails, because of the intense crowding. At the end of their miserable lives, they’re transferred to an ice bath, where their gills are cut and they’re left to bleed out – a slow, painful way to die.”
A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council told PBN: “An application has been received and is being considered.
“We are in receipt of the petition from PETA.”