Scots want beavers moved not shot, new research finds - Trees for Life

A majority of Scots agree beavers should be moved to new locations in Scotland instead of being killed, according to new research.

The findings come as Highland-based rewilding charity Trees for Life seeks to raise £40,000 through a crowdfunding appeal to help protect Scotland’s wild beavers. This will cover the costs of its current legal challenge over the failure of NatureScot – the Scottish Government’s nature agency – to make the killing of beavers a genuine last resort when the species needs managing.

Beaver (©
beaver head and front paws visible above still green water surface.

The Protect Beavers In Scotland campaign has been boosted by a new opinion poll showing that 66% of Scots agree beavers should be relocated to new areas of Scotland instead of being killed when they need managing. Only 5% of those asked disagreed.

“With the future of Scotland’s endangered beavers hanging in the balance, it’s increasingly clear that NatureScot’s current illegal approach to beaver conservation is also out of step with public opinion,” said Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s Chief Executive. “It shows people want to live alongside these biodiversity-boosting, flood-preventing animals – a finding boosted by the fantastic response to our current crowdfunding appeal to protect Scotland’s beavers.”

The opinion poll was carried out by market research agency Survation for the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a coalition of organisations including Trees for Life. Over 1,000 people were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that NatureScot should relocate beavers before considering authorising their killing.

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Posted On: 05/01/2021

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