The news that the Tayside beaver capture programme has been halted by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was welcomed on 29 March by the Scottish Wild Beaver Group (SWBG). Only one beaver, Erica, was captured, and she remains in Edinburgh Zoo.
The programme has stopped because female animals are likely to be giving birth soon, and continuing the capture programme would cause unnecessary welfare problems. The capture is unlikely to resume until the autumn.
Louise Ramsay, Chair of the newly-formed Scottish Wild Beaver Group said: “We see this as an opening for all concerned to think afresh on a way forward. The fact that the Tay beavers are a genuinely wild and free population means that they present a wonderful opportunity for the study of beavers, and in a way that isn’t possible in the Knapdale re-introduction trial currently underway in Argyll.”
She added: “We see the summer months offering the chance for all the involved parties to engage in useful dialogue.”
Commenting on the SNH announcement, former Green Party MSP Mark Ruskell, who is standing again for Holyrood in May said: “I welcome the news from SNH that they have suspended, what they are now calling a ‘trial’ trapping of European beavers, which have been living wild in Perthshire and Angus for at least the last ten years.

Amnesty Proposed

“The idea that as many as 50 of these social animals could be rounded up and placed in zoo collections simply because they don’t fit with the current official trial reintroduction in Argyll seems frankly absurd.
“I hope that the review of the trapping exercise will result in a recognition by SNH that there are major animal welfare implications for continuing to try to remove these animals from the wild.
“After the election, the new Scottish Government should announce an amnesty for the existing Tay beavers, alongside efforts to monitor the impact of this population on the environment.
“I have been impressed by the great local strength of feeling in favour of protecting the Tay beavers, and I would like to see a working solution to the issue, which brings together landowning and riparian concerns, together with local community interests, so that the economy and environment of the area can benefit from the continued presence of these native animals.”

Poll Result

The commentonline running poll on the issue of the Tayside beavers has been concluded.  It invited the public to indicate whether the Tay beavers should be rounded up or not.

Of the 148 returns, 8 voted for the roundup and 140 chose the option to leave them in peace, agreeing that: "The Tay beavers are thriving well in their natural environment. They have been accepted by the local community, are not causing any problems and are a tremendous asset for studying a genuinely wild population of beavers in Scotland, unlike the fenced-in ones in Argyll. They are not costing us a penny either."

See also:

Among all the commotion about the recapture of the Tay beavers in recent months, many people may well be asking themselves if this subject is relevant to their everyday lives?


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