Following news that the Scottish Government will introduce legal protections for beavers from May this year, it has been revealed that beavers may still be killed during the breeding season.
Scottish Greens Environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP has raised serious concerns that this will lead to pregnant beavers being shot and dependent kits left to suffer. Ruskell has called on the Scottish Government to strengthen the proposed protections to ensure no shooting takes place during the breeding season.
Mr Ruskell made the call following the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee meeting today (5 March), where he questioned Scottish Government officials on the long awaited protections.
Mark Ruskell MSP said:
“I am pleased that at long last the Scottish Government is bringing forward measures to protect Scotland’s beavers. However, as currently proposed I am concerned that they simply do not go far enough. Unless changes are made pregnant beavers may be killed, and dependent kits may be orphaned and left to suffer. I am calling on Ministers to ensure that a closed season is in place to prevent suffering and allow beavers to breed in peace.
“Beavers are native to Scotland and their re-introduction is a joy to see. As environmental engineers they will play a vital role improving our natural environment, and whilst I recognise that their expansion will need careful management, it’s absolutely critical that animal welfare is prioritised.”