Bakkafrost threatens activist with legal action
Bakkafrost Scotland looks set to be the third salmon company in quick succession to take legal action against anti-fish farming activist Don Staniford.
The company has sent a warning to the campaigner, via its solicitors Shepherd & Wedderburn, requesting that he stops trespassing on its sites and taking clandestine video footage.
The letter states: “Your client’s actions are not only unacceptable to our client because he is accessing our client’s property without its consent, but because at least some of his actions pose a danger to himself, our client’s staff and the individuals who accompany him. Your client’s actions also jeopardise the welfare of our client’s fish.”
It also points out that there are no grounds to believe that Staniford and his associates are complying with the company’s strict biosecurity measures, or that they have relevant training to allow them to do so.
The letter stresses: “While our client respects your client’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest, and in no way seeks to interfere with the responsible exercise of that right, this does not give him the right to board, access or otherwise interfere with our client’s property.”
In October the Sherriff Court in Oban upheld an interdict (court order) requested by Mowi, barring Don Staniford from:
- boarding, entering onto, physically occupying, attaching himself to, attaching vessels to or approaching within 15 metres of all structures, docks, walkways, buildings, floats or pens of Mowi’s salmon aquaculture farms;
- flying unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, above Mowi’s salmon aquaculture farms; and
- instructing, procuring, encouraging or facilitating others to so act, and for an extended interdict ad interim.
Earlier this month Scottish Sea Farms (also known as Norskott Havbruk), which is jointly owned by Norwegian salmon groups Lerøy and SalMar, began legal proceedings for a similar interdict.
Don Staniford and his organisation $camon $cotland (formerly known as Scottish Salmon Watch) have carried out unauthorised filming at salmon and trout farming sites for some years, in order to highlight what they argue are environmental and welfare abuses.
In his response to the latest threat, Staniford said: “Bakkafrost is an ethically and environmentally bankrupt bully. Standing up to all the bullies lining up to silence surveillance of salmon farming is the only option. The Norwegian $almafia may have a salmonopoly on ‘Scottish’ salmon but they will never own the truth. Unlike salmon pharmers, the camera never lies.”
Last month, Staniford and his supporters ended a campaigning tour of the UK with a protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.