Deaths of captured Beauly beavers prompt calls for protection

Reacting to news that two beavers trapped near Beauly have died in captivity, Trees for Life Chief Executive Steve Micklewright said, “We are deeply saddened that the Beauly family of beavers has now been split up and two of them have died in captivity.”

Mr Micklewright added, “Beavers have been in the area for 5-8 years with no local concerns or controversy. Many people had no idea they were there.”

Beavers have recently been recognised by the Scottish government as a native species. Mr Micklewright added, “Native species require protection. The government should have explored all other options before trapping and removing this beaver family.”

European beaver (Castor fiber) feeding at night, Knapdale Forest, Argyll, Scotland. © Peter Cairns, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture

Trees for Life recently wrote to Roseanna Cunningham, Environment Minister about the possible welfare risks of trapping beavers at the outset of winter and questioned the wisdom of splitting up a family of beavers with young kits at this time of year, but received no reply. Mr Micklewright said, “While the cause of death of the beavers is being investigated, they are likely to have been in good body condition because they were in good quality habitat with plenty of food available.”

Trees for Life has been discussing the presence of beavers around Beauly with landowners and other local people for some time. Mr Micklewright said, “While not everyone welcomes beavers, we think there is potential for beavers and people to continue to coexist in the Beauly area without controversy and conflict.”

Trees for Life is organising a beaver information day at the Lovat Arms, Main Street, Beauly on Wednesday 25th October between 11am-5pm. The organisation says, “Local people are welcome to stop by for a chat about beavers, find out what they do, the problems they can cause and the benefits they can bring.”

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