Beaver killing stats a scandal

Figures showing licensed killing of a fifth of Scotland’s beaver population is a scandal, the Scottish Greens have said.

Scottish Natural Heritage have published beaver licensing statistics which show the scale of beavers killed in Scotland, including 87 killed in Tayside. This comes despite the Scottish Government declaring the beaver a protected species.

Responding, Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “These are shocking figures from an agency whose primary duty is to protect Scotland’s wildlife. The fact that a fifth of Scotland’s beaver population has been killed as part of an accreditation, management and licensing framework is nothing less than a scandal.

“The Scottish Government may have enjoyed some positive headlines from declaring beavers protected, but they then issued licences for a fifth of them to be killed. It’s hard to see how this is compliant with either the spirit or the letter of the European laws which are supposed to protect beavers.

“SNH’s conservation role needs to be focussed on ensuring vested economic interests are not put above Scotland’s protected wildlife.”