One in four of Scotland’s beaver population is set to be exiled to England in a bizarre move by Nature Scot.
Beavers were declared a protected species by the Scottish Government but the nature agency has since allowed a fifth of the population to be killed in 2019.
It has now emerged that Nature Scot is planning a wholesale export of 112 beavers to England, some of which are being held in a holding facility.
Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “While exile is better than execution, this bizarre situation is what happens when a government wants to simultaneously protect and eradicate an animal from our country.
“The fact is there are farmers and nature reserves in Scotland who would welcome beaver populations. Instead we are exporting these creatures en masse. Beavers are native to Scotland, we should be translocating them across the country so we can build a healthy population here.
"Translocated beavers could bring eco-tourism to new areas of Scotland, while restoring the nature rich wetlands we need to protect against floods. Beavers are nature’s expert engineers, they are needed at home in Scotland and shouldn’t be shot or shipped to England.”
Between 25 August 2020 and 5 September 2020, 16 beavers were trapped in Tayside under licence from NatureScot. One animal was re-released locally, eleven have been released in England, and four are currently at a holding facility until trapping of the family group is completed. Following this, the families will be moved to another release project in England.
Nature.Scot have committed to providing 112 beavers to projects across England