As you may know, beavers are still being shot in numbers on Tayside farms and some of them are being wounded rather than killed. This was highlighted when Fig the beaver was rescued by the SSPCA after being shot in the face and having his teeth smashed. Luckily Fig, after weeks of rehabilitation, is okay now, and living at Argaty, but the practice of shooting over the water should be banned immediately as in this situation wounded beavers can just be washed downstream unseen to suffer or die out of sight. We are calling for this, along with other changes listed in our manifesto.
But how can you help? We need you to write to your MSP’s and remind them that these sorts of actions cannot be stood for.
Below is a letter that our Chair has written to John Swinney, her MSP. Please take a look, and alongside our manifesto, it would be great if people wrote now to their own MSPs along these lines or similar, to express your feelings about animal welfare or any other aspect of beaver conservation.
*Attach Home Address*
Dear *Insert Name of MSP Contact*
Firstly, we want to say, as rural constituents and as members of SL&E that our family is entirely opposed to the recent statement from SLE, NFUS and NSA. https://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/23628536.farmers-see-red-green-agenda/
Along with many rural neighbours and colleagues we very much welcome the Bute House Agreement and the environmental policy proposed or already carried out by government as a result.
Most of the above statement is, in our view is misinformed, misleading and mischievous. It is an attempt by a tiny minority of the rural population to stir trouble as they see their influence wane. We hope the government will ignore this hyperbole and step up on the Green agenda that, in this time of crisis, is clearly very much wanted by a large number of Scots, both rural and urban.
We appreciate the progress made on beaver policy under the Bute House Agreement, but feel there is still a long way to go on implementation.
The story of Fig the beaver has highlighted the fact that, under current legislation, beavers are vulnerable to being shot and wounded and then abandoned. Fig was luckily found and rehabilitated and is now living happily at Argaty, but there are probably many others like him who have died slowly of wounds out of sight. This occurrence is made much more likely by the fact that it is legal to shoot beavers over water. This makes the collection of carcasses and wounded animals very difficult and gives the license holders too much leeway if carcasses are not collected. We believe Nature Scot should urgently take its own welfare report’s advice and ban the shooting of. beavers over water.
This is one of a number of policy asks in our Scottish Wild Beaver’s new manifesto which I attach.
Want to experience your very own wild Scottish beaver encounter? Check out our page on beaver promoted ecotourism and figure out if you want to join an experienced guide, or try your own luck at beaver spotting by staying in one of many fantastic getaways around Scotland.