Trees for Life believes that its court challenge to the Scottish Government’s beaver killing policy can result in a win-win for farmers and nature.
At Scotland’s Court of Session in Edinburgh on 3 and 4 June, Trees for Life presented detailed arguments that the Government’s nature agency NatureScot is breaking the law by failing to make the killing of the protected species a genuine last resort when management is required.
Beavers create wetlands that can significantly benefit other wildlife, reduce flooding and improve water quality, but the animals sometimes need managing if they cause damage to farmland.
A ruling in Trees for Life’s favour will allow suitable new sites to be identified across Scotland, in consultation with local people, to which beavers can be moved rather than being shot.
“We are very happy with how the hearing went and are looking forward to a positive outcome that will move the thinking on around how nature and farmers can both benefit from having beavers back in our landscapes,” said Alan McDonnell, Trees for Life’s Conservation Manager.
“The case has shone a spotlight on how moving not shooting beavers can underpin a more nature-friendly approach to beaver management where needed. This would allow beavers to do what they do best – helping to tackle the collapse in biodiversity, creating wildlife tourism opportunities and boosting natural flood management. It’s important that solutions work for farmers. We want farmers to have options that help them avoid being forced to shoot much-loved animals, and for farmers co-existing with beavers to receive financial support.”