Invergarry man wins coveted animal welfare award

Malcolm Johnstone, who has lived in the Invergarry area for 36 years, was announced the winner of the Animal Welfare Award. NO F52 Malcolm Johnstone
Malcolm Johnstone, who has lived in the Invergarry area for 36 years, was announced the winner of the Animal Welfare Award. NO F52 Malcolm Johnstone

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Invergarry resident Malcolm Johnstone has received a prestigious award at the Global Aquaculture Awards 2020.

Mr Johnstone, who has lived in the  area for 36 years, was announced the winner of the Animal Welfare Award at the recent annual ceremony of the Global Aquaculture Awards, hosted by Aquaculture UK.

The award recognises success in improving the welfare of farmed fish and their subsequent impact on the wildlife they interact with. An international panel of judges announced the decision at the adapted virtual event.

With more than three decades of experience in the aquaculture industry, Mr Johnstone currently works for RSPCA Assured as its aquaculture manager, a position he’s held since 2007.

He said: ‘Over the years, my work at RSPCA Assured has made a difference to the lives of millions of fish. To get recognition from peers in the industry was a humbling moment for me.

‘Typically, there would have been a conference in Aviemore, Scotland, with a dinner, dance and speeches.

‘Due to Covid-restrictions, I thankfully I didn’t have to get up in front of a crowd. But, it was still nice to raise a glass of something special on behalf of our efforts.’

RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA’s ethical food label and farm assurance scheme, aims to improve the lives of farm animals.

With Mr Johnstone’s support, the scheme has helped to implement higher welfare standards throughout the salmon and trout farming industries.

These standards – which must be met for salmon and trout to be labelled RSPCA Assured – ensure the fish are healthier and less stressed.

They cover all aspects of the fish’s lives, including health, diet, environment, care and handling.