Murdo welcomes beaver protection measures

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has welcomed measures which should prevent beaver damage in Tayside.

The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, had asked the Scottish Government what date the Eurasian beaver will be given protected species status and has been told this will officially come into force on May 1.

Mr Fraser also asked the Scottish Government how farmers and land managers will be able to control destructive activity by beavers and has been informed that a comprehensive management system has been developed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), in consultation with the Scottish Beaver Forum.

This has confirmed that many measures, including management and removal of most types of dams and excluding or deterring beavers through use of electric fencing, will not require a licence.

Mr Fraser said: “I welcome the measures being put in place which will prevent damage to the those who work in the agricultural sector. There has been some evidence of damage caused by beavers in Tayside but the focus of this management approach, which has been rolled out by Scottish Natural Heritage, is to prevent beaver damage.

“SNH has also established a project to work with farmers and other land managers to continue to develop practical solutions to ensure that beavers do not block field drainage systems and to help ensure that flood defences are protected.”

And Mr Fraser was also pleased to hear that the Scottish Government has no plans to introduce beavers to all parts of the country.

“Scottish Ministers announced in November 2016 that beaver populations in the Knapdale and Tayside areas could remain and be allowed to expand their range naturally, but made it clear that further unauthorised releases of beavers would be illegal,” he added.

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