An animal welfare charity has called on the Scottish Government and the fishing industry to phase out seal shooting entirely by 2020.

OneKind has released new information which it says suggests hundreds of seals are suffering painful deaths in Scotland at the hands of the salmon fishing industry.

It claims figures show that between 2011 and 2015, 1,531 seals were killed by salmon farms, salmon netting stations and angling groups.

Under the licensing system which allows seals to be killed in Scotland, the carcasses should be recovered and sent for a post-mortem examination.

However, only 91 carcasses were recovered over the period and just 40 were sent for post-mortem tests.

The charity said the tests are critical in determining the extent of suffering endured by seals before they die.

OneKind director Harry Huyton said: "Whilst we understand that safety must come first and therefore many carcasses cannot be recovered, the extremely low recovery rate is surprising and disappointing.

"It also suggests that many seals are being shot whilst in the water, which risks prolonged deaths and injury.

"OneKind is calling for the Scottish Government and the fishing industry to continue to phase out seal shooting, with a target of ending it entirely by 2020."

The information came to light following parliamentary questions to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing from Green MSP Mark Ruskell.

Of the 40 post-mortem examinations that were carried out, Mr Ewing confirmed that 36 seals died "almost" immediately.

Mr Ruskell said: "It is shocking that there is such a low rate of carcass recovery and post-mortem on seals killed by the fishing industry.

"These are crucial steps in preventing unnecessary suffering and pain to Scottish seals.

"I urge the Government and fisheries across Scotland to step up and reinvigorate their commitment to increasing carcass recovery and post-mortem rates."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced the seal licensing system which has put an end to unregulated shooting of seals.

"It is a general principle of the licensing system that seals should only be shot as a last resort and licence holders must also adhere to the Scottish Seal Management Code, which states that the licensee must take all reasonable steps to recover the carcases of shot seals, but only when it is safe to do so."

"The system has seen a 65% reduction in seals shot under licence between 2011 and 2015."