Fears over beavers’ impact on farms

The NFUS is concerned at the impact beavers may have on agriculture
The NFUS is concerned at the impact beavers may have on agriculture

Following the news that beavers are to receive protected status, NFU Scotland insists that proper management of the species is fundamental in order to avoid unacceptable impact on agriculture.

NFU Scotland has made it clear that if the species are to continue to exist in Scotland they must not have an adverse impact on farmland; a view that Scottish Government and a number of other stakeholders share.

In order to ensure that this new species is not having an unacceptable impact there will be a need for monitoring and rapid and pragmatic interventions.

There is now a large population of beavers across Tayside following illegal releases over the last decade or more, with the range and population increasing rapidly. In some places beavers are having an unacceptable impact on agriculture.

NFU Scotland and other organisations recently wrote a joint letter to Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham to set out what we agree are the broad principles and key components of an appropriate management regime.

Rob Livesey, NFU Scotland’s Vice President commented: “The Union is adamant that beavers must be appropriately managed to minimise the risk of unacceptable impacts on agriculture and other land uses – a view that is shared by many within the conservation community.

“NFU Scotland believes the release of beavers into Tayside was illegal, should never have happened, and should not have been allowed to lead to the situation we have today. We expect any future illegal activity of this type to be dealt with as a wildlife crime. It is essential that Scottish agriculture is not negatively affected.

“NFU Scotland will work to ensure that the detail of the regime is in line with its and the Environment Secretary’s ambitions.”